Small tree to 10 m, distinguished from M. sylvestris and M. domestica by the following combination of characters: smaller flowers (petals 11–14 × 7–10 mm, strongly pink to purple); stamens 5–7 mm, shorter than styles; fruit ovoid, usually longer than wide. Hairiness characters are described as follows: leaves ’hairy when young, more or less glabrous on both faces when mature’, petiole ‘hairy’; the triangular sepals simply ’hairy’. (Raimondo 2008).
Distribution Italy N slopes of Monte Soro, Sicily
Habitat Quercus and Fagus woods, 1000–1600 m asl.
Conservation status Data deficient (DD)
This is a recently described tree, clearly very close to M. sylvestris and M. domestica which both occur in Sicily (Raimondo 2008). While clearly growing as a distinct wild plant, nothing can be said of its origins at present. Potentially a relict of wider Malus diversity in Europe before the climatic upheavals of the Pleistocene, it could yet be reinterpreted as a distinctive local race of M. sylvestris. The specific epithet commemorates Francesco Giulio Crescimanno, venerable arboricultural researcher at the University of Palermo.
We cannot trace any record of this species being cultivated in our area, and it would be unwise to speculate on its hardiness.