Friday, September 19, 2014

Mystery Fruit


Look at these tiny apples -- or whatever they are. (That's an ordinary teaspoon for scale.) They are quite tart and more or less apple flavored but I'm not sure what they are.



 The tree is a volunteer growing in one of our pastures and I caught sight of it when I was picking apples at the cabin the other day. I was excited at the thought of so many more apples . . . but didn't go investigate as I already had a full bucket.

Then  yesterday John brought me these tinies from that same tree.  And I took a closer look at the picture I'd taken with telephoto lens. The fruits aren't hanging in clusters like a proper apple -- they're studded along the branches.  
My tree book doesn't show anything like this. The leaves are similar to an apple but flimsier . . . I think I remember that the blossoms were white -- though they could have been a pale 
pink . . .

Maybe a red haw? The haws fruit like this, though much earlier. But this tree is in a place where I don't normally see it -- the fruit could have been there for some time.  Or is it a mayhaw -- though we don't seem to have the proper conditions for either . . .


Hoping one of you has the answer . . . 


It's got us bumfuzzled.



16 comments:

Juliet Batten said...

How mysterious, but aren't they sweet.

Ms. A said...

I have no clue.

Martin Hodges said...

Looks like some sort of crab variant.

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

They are a mystery to me too. If you find out what they are, please let us know. You've got my curiosity up.
Sam

Mary Anne Rudolph said...

Looks like a crab apple to me. We had one in middle TN that bloomed very pink, was very hardy, but fruits looked like yours. I made apple butter out of them. Usually the deer got all the ones they could reach. We dug it up off a roadside and it got to be huge in the 30 some years we lived on that farm.

Novice Naturalist said...

We call them crabapples here in North Georgia--at least my neighbors do. The tree has lovely white/pink blooms in early spring, just a little later than the cherry tree. They are too tart for my taste, but neighbor eats them right off the tree. I believe they would make very good apple butter. Lovely tree just on the edge of the woods. (As usual, I could be wrong; or in this case, my neighbors could be wrong.)

Diotima said...

Pretty sure they are apples -- to the best of my knowledge, the pentagram star pattern of the seeds is unique to apples.

KarenB said...

I think it's a crabapple as well, possible a crossbreed between a crab and an apple.

B. Rogers, Living in Black Mountain said...

No idea, but the comments above me seem pretty solid. I'm glad something in life can still bumfuzzle you, Vicki!

KBrown said...

Vicki, we have this same tree...I have always considered it to be a crabapple tree. We have the white blooms.

Thérèse said...

I looked into it but could not find any better than the answers already given. Cute dwarf apples. The puzzling thing is the serrated leaves.

Tammy said...

Perhaps you could run it by your local extension office? It's possible they might know. I have no idea but it's pretty darn cute! I love how there are always surprises out there.

Tammy

Jim Egerton said...

WAG Crab Apple. We use to take them and impale them on a broken fishing rod of say 4 to 5 feet long and see who could hurl them the furthest. Be surprised how far they could go with that extra arm length.

Vagabonde said...

I don’t know what this tree is but I know that I would be delighted to find a fruit bearing tree in our yard – how wonderful for you to have such a bounty of veggies and fruits on your land. We have wild muscadine vines up high in some trees, too high to pick them up. They fall on the driveway and are clobbered by tires then ants eat them…

Nancy Wolter said...

I looked up smallest apple-appear to be Dolgo crabapples.

NCmountainwoman said...

I think it's a crabapple tree and I would guess from the way the fruit grows it's the Biltmore Crabapple. Apples are too small to be WAG and fruit doesn't hang right to be Southern Crabapple. You might want to send an apple and leaf to the agriculture extension agent in your county.