By Mildred Alpern
Like fluttering butterflies descending en masse, the Crab Apple Grove in Riverside Park is boasting floating clouds of pink. A multi-branched crabapple tree blots the sky with bursting blossoms and buds. The newly renovated asphalt pathway at 91st on Riverside Drive leads to the grove directly across from the Hippo Playground where walkers and children sport about. From here on in, the grove is a daily testament to the beauty of spring. (These photos were from almost two weeks ago, so its likely blooming much more today.)
Thank you to the person or people who every year post the 1896 A.E.Housman poem, Loveliest of Trees, near two of the loveliest of the crab apple orchard trees. The ritual of finding the poems and reading them anew stirs my heart as much as the blossoms themselves.
So beautiful!! Thank you for this post!
All these years I thought they were cherry blossoms!
I thought so too Bloomingdale so the internet tells me … Crab apple trees often have a flower that’s closer in color to the cherry tree, but the petals are much longer than those of cherry or pear trees, Catlett said.
“If you take a flower out and look at it independently, the petal touches another petal at no portion of the petal,” he said.
Yoshino cherry flower petals, in contrast, “are almost as wide as they are long, and they overlap each other,” Catlett said. The result is a flower that looks almost like a bowl, rather than the pinwheel crab apple flower.
LOVELIEST OF TREES: TEXT OF THE POEM
Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.
And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.