Herb: Japanese Crab
Latin name: Malus floribunda
Synonyms: Pyrus floribunda, Pyrus pulcherrima
Family: Rosaceae (Rose Family)
Edible parts of Japanese Crab:Fruit - raw or cooked. Up to 1cm in diameter. It tastes like a soft fruit. Acid but nice, about the size of a large blackcurrant.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Not known in the wild.
Propagation of Japanese Crab:Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. It usually germinates in late winter. Stored seed requires stratification for 3 months at 1°C and should be sown in a cold frame as soon as it is received. It might not germinate for 12 months or more. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. If given a rich compost they usually grow away quickly and can be large enough to plant out in late summer, though consider giving them some protection from the cold in their first winter. Otherwise, keep them in pots in a cold frame and plant them out in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of mature wood, November in a frame.
Cultivation of the herb:Not known in the wild.
Medicinal use of Japanese Crab:None known
Known hazards of Malus floribunda:All members of this genus contain the toxin hydrogen cyanide in their seeds and possibly also in their leaves, but not in their fruits. Hydrogen cyanide is the substance that gives almonds their characteristic taste but it should only be consumed in very small quantities. Apple seeds do not normally contain very high quantities of hydrogen cyanide but, even so, should not be consumed in very large quantities. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.