Solved on Sunday

A mystery from yesterday afternoon solved today, thanks to a knowledgeable twitter contact. We were having a wonderful wander in a big open public park in Gore when we came upon a tree with colourful lobed foliage and smooth, small, ball-like greeny-yellow fruits. Lots of the fruit ‘balls’ had dropped to the ground – thousands of them! I wonder if you know what the tree is? I’ll tell you after the photos 🙂

I’ve read, and independently been told by an American, that this tree is rare in N. America!


~first 3 photos by Nigel, last by me.

Click on any photo to enlarge..


Many fallen fruit..


If you know the answer already, I’m mighty impressed! When we were at the tree, Nigel suggested Malus and I was highly doubtful, primarily because of the maple-like foliage. [Malus are apples/crabapples]. This morning I struggled with leaf-key ID charts to no avail (!) So I shared these pictures on twitter and Emma Simpkins from Auckland Botanic Gardens gave me the heads-up that it’s Malus trilobata. We’re delighted to have the mystery solved!

According to this online article [link goes to Trees and Shrubs Online] “Of all the species we treat as Malus, this oddity is the most likely to be seen listed under another genus” … “but again there is no consensus.” 😀


Text by Liz, photos by Nigel and Liz; Exploring Colour (2022)

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