Morning Princess

Crab Apple

Denomination: 'Morning Princess'
Botanical Name: Malus baccata
Applicant/Holder: Krahn, Victor
Lakeshore Tree Farms Ltd.
Box 92, R.R. #3
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
S7K 3J6
Tel: 306-978-3333

Krahn, Richard
Box 2A RR3
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
S7K 3J6
Tel: 306-382-2077

Krahn, Robert
Box 2A RR3
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
S7K 3J6
Tel: 306-382-2077
Breeder: Victor Krahn, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Richard Krahn, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Robert Krahn, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Application Date: 1997-09-29
Application Number: 97-1157
Grant of Rights Date: 1999-09-14
Certificate Number: 0665
Date rights revoked: 2014-09-14

Variety Description

Variety used for comparison: 'Royal Beauty'

Summary: 'Morning Princess' is an ornamental apple variety which has a distinct, drooping growth habit although the plant maintains good apical dominance. By comparison, the reference variety 'Royal Beauty' has a weeping growth habit but develops a descending head. The lateral branches of 'Morning Princess' are at approximately 90 to the trunk, whereas the branches of 'Royal Beauty' are at less than 90 to the trunk at the point of attachment, although the branches are more weeping overall. The fully expanded leaves of 'Morning Princess' are purple whereas the expanded leaves of 'Royal Beauty' are dark green with less intense anthocyanin colouration. 'Morning Princess' has shorter petioles and stipules than 'Royal Beauty' and the fruit stalk is longer than the stalk of the reference variety.


'Morning Princess' is an ornamental apple variety which has a distinctive drooping growth habit but good apical dominance. The trees produce many, strong, lateral branches which are approximately at 90 with the trunk. The dormant one-year old shoot is glabrous and weakly flexible, with dull bark and small lenticels. The colour of the bark is purple on the one-year old shoots. The lateral buds are small, conspicuously held out and have a pointed tip. The growing tip of the young shoot is purple and shoot tip leaves are concave in cross section. There is no pubescence on the upper side of the shoot tip leaves and the lower side is purple.

Fully expanded leaves of 'Morning Princess' are medium sized, elliptical in shape, and have no lobes. They are oriented outwards on the plant. The leaf apex is acuminate and the margin is serrate. The upper side of the leaf is moderately glossy and green-purple in colour, with very strong anthocyanin colouration. The lower side of the leaf is glabrous. 'Morning Princess' has a short petiole and small stipules. Leaf fall for the variety occurs late in the season and prior to falling, the leaves are purple. Bud burst for 'Morning Princess' occurs early in the spring and beginning of flowering is mid-season. The flower buds are red-pink and the pedicel is red. When the flower opens it is rose coloured and single, with narrow-ovate petals that are just touching but not overlapping.

The variety produces very small fruit (less than 5.5 cm in diameter) which are globose in shape and symmetrical in side view. There is no ribbing on the fruit or crowning at the distal end. The aperture is closed and the eye is small. The calyx persists in mature fruit, with short sepals that touch each other but do not overlap. The eye basin is very shallow and narrow. 'Morning Princess' has a long, thin fruit stalk, with a shallow, narrow stalk cavity. The fruit surface is smooth and the skin is thin, with no bloom or waxiness. Fully mature fruit are purple with no secondary colour. There is very little russet, occasionally on the cheeks, and the lenticels are small. The flesh of the mature fruit is also purple. In cross section the fruit has no core line and the aperture of the locules is closed. The fruit on 'Morning Princess' persists until early December in Saskatoon, although the setting of fruit is poor and the maturity date is late. At maturity the seeds are brown and normal in shape.

Origin & Breeding History: 'Morning Princess' originated as a chance seedling from an open-pollinated Sutherland flowering crab. It was discovered in the late 1960's and planted in the applicant's test garden in Saskatoon, where it remained for many years. In 1991 new plants were propagated by budding from the original and were tested in Saskatchewan and in British Columbia to determine if the characteristics of the original seedling were stable. The variety was found to be uniform and stable and was named in 1995.

Tests & Trials: Tests and trials for 'Morning Princess' were conducted at Advance Orchard, Grand Forks, British Columbia during 1997 and 1998. The trials consisted of 2 year old trees, grafted onto Antonovka rootstock, and spaced 45 cm apart. Measured characteristics were based on ten measurements.

Comparison tables for 'Morning Princess' with reference variety 'Royal Beauty'

Leaf length (mm)

  'Morning Princess' 'Royal Beauty'
mean 55 67
range 50-75 55-80

Leaf width (mm)

  'Morning Princess' 'Royal Beauty'
mean 25 35
range 22-28 30-40

Colour of leaf (RHS)

  'Morning Princess' 'Royal Beauty'
lower 187B 185B
upper 187A 135A

Colour of veins (RHS)

  'Morning Princess' 'Royal Beauty'
underside 187B 185B

Petiole length (mm)

  'Morning Princess' 'Royal Beauty'
mean 32 50
range 30-35 35-55
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