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A tree 20 to 30 ft high, with a short trunk and a wide-spreading, open head of branches; young shoots downy the first summer. Leaves ovate to three-lobed, 2 to 41⁄2 in. long, sometimes nearly as much wide, but usually 1 to 21⁄2 in. wide, pointed, the base rounded or slightly heart-shaped, sometimes tapering, very soon quite glabrous on both surfaces, margins sharply, deeply, and irregularly toothed; stalk downy, 1 to 11⁄2 in. long. Flowers white, tinged with rose, fragrant like violets, 11⁄2 to 2 in. across, produced in clusters of four to six, each flower on a slender stalk, 1 to 2 in. long. Calyx-tube glabrous. Fruits 1 to 11⁄2 in. across, orange-shaped, yellowish green, very harsh and acid. Bot. Mag., t. 2009.
Native of eastern N. America; introduced in 1724, but not so common as one might expect from the beauty and fragrance of its flowers, which come in May and June – later than any other of the genus, except its two immediate allies. There are two American crabs closely allied to this species: they are M. angustifolia, with narrower leaves tapering at the base, and M. ioensis, in which the foliage is much more downy (and persistently so) beneath. The larger, broader leaves of M. coronaria frequently suggest those of Sorbus latifolia in shape.