A cloud of white flowers on a stiff-branched thorny bush make an interesting combination which seems almost unreal. The same sensation is repeated in autumn when the dark twiggy branches are decorated by a multitude of tiny red apples. These combinations are offered by the Sargent crabapple, and in between the bush dresses itself in yellow and red autumn leaves.
Native to Japan and Korea, this broad bush makes an impassable screen when planted as a hedge. The leaves on long shoots are strongly 3-lobed, while the leaves of flowering shoots are entire and smaller. The white flowers are in groups of about five, the flower buds red before opening.
The Sargent crab grows abundantly throughout the Arboretum, even in stiff clay. Unlike many other apples, it also flowers well in semi-shade, for example in forest where there are gaps in the canopy. The berry-like fruit persist long into the winter, and surprisingly the shrubs seem not to be bothered much by hares.