Prairie Fire is a relatively new variety of crab apple that averages around 12 -15 feet tall. It's foliage is strikingly maroon to dark lavender, come Autumn it morphs to variant shades of auburn, orange and red. The biggest detraction from this cultivar is that although the fruit is edible, basically it sucks and is best left for the birds and tree rats. Not even good for preserves. It is classified as an edible crab apple but is more suited for ornamental purposes.
Prairie Fire has a longer than usual bloom period, producing half-inch, purplish-red flowers that don't fade easily. Blooms are followed by purplish leaves that transform to a reddish green as they mature. Next comes the fruit, dark purplish red and resembling cherries, yes they are edible but as stated earlier in this article they are not all that tasty. Come fall the leaves enter their final stage and attain a burnt orange color before dropping. The cherry red fruit lingers on the branches well into winter, long after the leaves have fallen.
Hardy in zones 4-8.
Mature Height 12 - 1`5 ft. Average but up to 20 feet
Mature Spread 15 - 20 feet
Soil Type Widely Adaptable but does best on well drained loam
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Growth Rate Medium
Fruiting Time 3 - 5 years
Resistant to Apple Scab, Apple Powdery Mildew, Cedar-Apple Rust, Fireblight, Japanese beetles.
Propagation Methods: softwood cuttings, grafting and budding.