Fruit Description

Size: Small to medium (large for crab apple).

Shape: Round to round conical, regular.

Skin: Yellow to greenish yellow ground color flushed with carmine or scarlet flush, sometimes striped or mottled. Dots inconspicuous or rare. Skin smooth, no russetting.

Stalk (stem) and Cavity: Stem long, slender. Cavity acute, green, deep.

Basin: Wide, shallow, furrowed.

Calyx (Eye): Small, closed to slightly open.

Core (Vertical): Core lines faint.

Carpels and Axial Sac (Transverse): Axile closed to open, axial sac none to large. Carpels medium.

Seeds: Numerous, dark brown, pointed.

Flesh: Cream to yellow, juicy, browns and bruises easily.

Flavor: Subacid, slightely aromatic and astringent.


Additional Notes

Synonyms: 'Wallace Whitney', 'Whitney's Crab', 'Whitney No. 20'

First Recorded: C. 1869

Origin: Franklin Grove, Illinois

Bloom time: Early to Mid

Harvest: Mid to late

Use: Culinary, sauce, jelly, cider, fresh eating for those who like a little astringency

Storage: Fair

Disease: Good resistence to scab, fire blight and cedar apple rust

Tree: Cold hardy, spreading drooping habit.

Parentage: Unknown

Frequency in Montana Orchards based on DNA testing: Low, mostly homestead plantings

Look alikes: 'Transcendent', only for similar size.


The 'Whitney' crabapple originated from the Whitney Nursery of Franklin Grove, Illinois, where it was grown from seed by nurseryman A.R. Whitney around 1865 or possibly prior. It was first recorded in 1869 and became a popular crabapple for its cold hardiness and good production. In Montana it was listed as one of the best crabapple varieties to grow in the early 1900s and recommended for production in Lincoln County.