Gard. Dict. ed. 8, Malus no. 2. 1768.
Trees, sometimes shrubs, 25–75 (–100) dm. Stems 1–45 cm diam.; bark reddish-brown to gray, longitudinally fissured with platelike scales; young branches reddish-brown to dark-brown, with orange lenticels, pubescent, glabrescent; flowering shoots becoming spurs or spiny thorns, (10–) 20–40 (–100) mm. Buds reddish-brown, ovoid, 1–6 mm, scale margins tomentose. Leaves conduplicate in bud; heteromorphic; stipules deciduous, linear-lanceolate, (3–) 4–6 (–7) mm, apex acuminate; vigorous shoot leaves: petiole (7–) 10–25 (–30) mm, glabrous or villous, sometimes puberulent; blade ovate or triangular-ovate, sometimes lanceolate, (2.5–) 4–8 (–10) × (1.5–) 4–6 (–8) cm, base rounded or cordate-rounded, sometimes cuneate, margins ± lobed, sometimes unlobed, serrate, sometimes doubly serrate or crenate-serrate, apex broadly acute or acute, sometimes rounded, apiculate, abaxial surface glabrous (villous only on veins), adaxial glabrous; flowering shoot leaves: petiole 5–15 (–25) mm, glabrous or villous; blade ovate, triangular-ovate, or lanceolate, sometimes oval or elliptic, (15–) 20–60 (–85) × (10–) 15–45 (–60) mm, base rounded or cordate, sometimes cuneate-rounded or cuneate, margins lobed or unlobed, serrate, sometimes crenate-serrate, doubly serrate, or entire, apex acute or broadly acute (rounded with point or rounded), abaxial surface glabrous (veins villous), adaxial glabrous. Panicles corymblike; peduncles absent; bracteoles sometimes persistent, filiform, 3–5 (–10) mm. Pedicels (10–) 20–30 (–40) mm, glabrous, sometimes villous. Flowers 25–40 mm diam.; hypanthium glabrous, sometimes puberulent; sepals triangular, (3–) 4–6 (–7) mm, equal to slightly longer than tube, apex acute or acuminate, abaxial surface glabrous, sometimes glabrescent, adaxial hoary-tomentose; petals pink, sometimes fading white, oblong-obovate, ovate, or oblong, (11–) 12–18 (–20) mm, claws (2–) 3–4 mm, margins entire, sinuate, or fimbriate, apex rounded; stamens 20, (8–) 10–13 (–14) mm, anthers pink, rose, salmon, or purple before dehiscence; styles 5, connate basally, (8–) 10–12 (–16) mm, equal to or slightly longer than stamens, villous in proximal 1/2. Pomes green or yellow-green, depressed-globose, 15–30 (–55) mm diam., cores not enclosed at apex; sepals persistent, erect; sclereids abundant surrounding core. Seeds dark-brown. 2n = 34, 51, 68.
Phenology: Flowering (Apr–)May(–Jun); fruiting Sep–Oct.
Habitat: Open woods, forest edges, thickets, stream banks, fields, fencerows, roadsides
Elevation: 50–1000 m
Ont., Ala., Ark., Del., D.C., Ga., Ill., Ind., Kans., Ky., La., Md., Mich., Mo., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., S.C., Tenn., Va., W.Va., Wis.
Leaves of Malus coronaria are variable in shape and lobing, leading Rehder in the early 1900s to recognize a number of eastern taxa. For examples, M. lancifolia was described as having ovate-lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate leaves; M. glabrata and M. glaucescens were described as having triangular-ovate or ovate leaves that are distinctly lobed. Specimens with relatively large fruit and only slightly lobed leaves were named M. platycarpa.
Double-flowered forms have been found in nature and selected for cultivation: forma charlottae Rehder and forma nieuwlandiana A. D. Slavin.