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This species is closely related to the well-known Japanese flowering crab Malus ×floribunda Siebold, and like it, is probably a hybrid. Malus brevipes differs from M. ×floribunda in that it has a shorter, denser and somewhat stiffer habit. The leaves are smaller with more closely serrate margins, and the flowers are smaller and somewhat paler. The fruits are bright red, subglobose, 1.5 cm diameter, slightly ribbed and borne in profusion on upright pedicels. Krüssmann 1985b, Fiala 1994. Distribution In cultivation only; unknown in the wild. USDA Hardiness Zone 4. Illustration NT510. Cross-reference K284.
Malus brevipes is widely grown and with its tidier habit is easier to place in smaller gardens than M. ×floribunda. It differs also in its pure white flowers opening from slightly pink-tinted buds, which are produced in great abundance. These are followed by persistent dark red fruits that are again ornamental, making it a very useful tree that should be even more widely planted than it is. It is freely available in commerce in the United Kingdom, both under its own name and under the selling name Malus Wedding Bouquet, recently applied by Frank P. Matthews Ltd., Worcestershire (N. Dunn, S. Priest, pers. comms. 2008). According to Krüssmann (1985b), it was introduced prior to 1883.