Facts on Apple Blossom Flowers
Over 100 varieties of apple have been grown commercially in the USA and over 7,500 varieties are grown worldwide. Delicately colored blossoms are among the most distinctive features of this apple tree, and their springtime beauty has made them a treasured emblem of apple-producing places.
The apple blossom is a normal angiosperm flower, with petals encompassing multiple pollen-producing structures called stamens, the male reproductive organs of the flower, which can be crowned with sticky pollen-collecting stigma. When fertilized by pollen, the female ovary at the bottom of the blossom enlarges and becomes the fruit. Most apple blossom petals are are pink when the blossom first blooms, plus they disappear into white as the season progresses.
Apple cultivars could be categorized into four groups, based on their blooming periods: ancient flowering, midseason flowering, late-season flowering and very-late-season flowering. Late-season bloomers could be successfully grown in colder climates than a number of other fruits because their late blossom time makes them less vulnerable to late-spring chilly weather; Washington, New York and Michigan will be the top apple-producing conditions. When planting landscape trees intended to bear fruit, plant two different cultivars using the same blooming period to ensure that cross-pollination between the trees is possible.
Some apple varieties can self-pollinate, but many varieties require cross-pollination from the other tree; even self-pollinating varieties produce better fruit when pollinated by a different tree of another selection. Some cultivars, called triploids, demand a third neighboring tree for successful cross-pollination of all trees involved because the pollen of triploid cultivars is infertile and cannot pollinate other trees. Apple blossoms are pollinated by insects, so even when a lone tree is planted in a lawn, it is going to stand a good chance of being pollinated when there are other trees growing in the region.
The apple blossom is the state flower of both Michigan and Arkansas. The flower was selected as the state flower by the Michigan legislature in 1897, and the specific variety selected is Pyrus coronaria, the crabapple, because it is indigenous to Michigan. The crabapple blossom was selected as Arkansas’s state flower in 1901 due to the apple’s value as a cash crop in the nation at the time, and it remains the state flower even though Arkansas is no longer a significant apple maker.