We have a large, beautiful Crabapple in our backyard. Each year the tree blooms in a gorgeous mass of dark pink blossoms. I enjoy cutting a few branches to bring into the house to arrange in vases. I wait until the buds are about to open then cut a few stems about twenty-four inches long. I hammer the woody ends to allow them to soak up a bit more water. In a day or two they will blossom and grace us with a gorgeous display of bloom.
I have tried to press crabapple blossoms, and have had minimal luck. The color does not press true, and often browns whether I press with a microwave, or in the traditional weighted book technique. I will still try to press a few of the flowers, but I have better luck with the crabapple buds, and usually attempt to press dozens before they burst into bloom.
I pick a few stems when the buds are about the size of the tip of my pinky finger. I use my heated/microwaved book method to keep the color true. As with other dark flowers, I press an extra quantity, the buds often discolor to brown during the pressing process.
I pull the buds from the woody stems before arranging on the book pages. I also remove all the leaves. I think they look like miniature rosebuds at this stage.
Microwave at full power for 40 – 60 seconds. Experiment with a few first to see what setting works best for you.
The color darkens up a bit, but the buds still makes a nice addition to pressed flower pictures, cards and scrapbooks.
The crabapple is a strange fruit. Some think it poisonous, but it is not. Some of the uses for crabapple fruit are: jelly, wine, cider and sauces. I don’t use my crabapples, by the end of the season most have been eaten up wildlife and birds.