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Level of Significance

  • File
  • Local
  • Regional
  • State
  • National

Age (approx)






Height - 6m


Common name
Aldenham Crab Apple
Botanical name
Malus x purpurea ‘Aldenhamensis’
Individual Tree
Light (SA)
829 Anlaby Road Hamilton SA 5373
  • Horicultural/Genetic (Scientific)
  • Seed/Propagation Stock (Scientific)
  • Park/Garden/Town (Historic)
  • Person/Group/Institution (Historic)
  • Attractive (Aesthetic)
Date of measurement
10 Oct 2016
Date of classification
21 Nov 2016

Statement of Significance

This specimen has a high horticultural significance as a cultivated specimen. Roger Spencer in his Horticultural Flora of South-Eastern Australia, Part 2. Vol. 3, page 111, records that this Malus x purpurea cultivar originated as a chance seedling in the garden of the well-known gardener, the Hon. Vicary Gibbs (b. 1853 – d. 1932) at Aldenham, Hertfordshire, England. It was found in 1922. The Hon. Vicary Gibbs raised other crab apple cultivars in his garden besides ‘Aldenhamensis’ such as ‘Cashmere’ and ‘Lady Northcliffe’. Malus x purpurea ‘Aldenhamensis’ was introduced into the United States by the Arnold Arboretum in 1923 as part of its Malus Collection. The Arnold Arboretum was the place of publication for this newly cultivated hybrid cultivar by 1926: J.Arnold Arbor. 7:27, (1926, March). Emily Dutton’s access to this newly cultivated crab apple cultivar very early in its availability is indicative of how well connected she was among the social and
horticultural/nursery circles in England. It must be remembered that this newly cultivated crab apple was not readily available through the nursery industry to the general public. It was mainly available to exotic tree collectors, large estate gardens, various arboreta and botanic gardens.


The planting of this specimen is due to the influence of Emily Dutton (b.1884 –d.1962), the wife of Henry Hampden Dutton (b.1879 – d.1932). Henry and Emily’s extensive education and travels throughout Europe and around the world influenced their interest in the arts, collecting Australiana and other creative activities. Emily was hostess to many visitors to Anlaby from the creative arts which included actors, musicians, artists and national and international public figures. Emily’s fame in Europe within social circles was noted by many. These influences inspired Emily to re-organise the Anlaby garden in a more Romantic style by planting more exotic trees, shrubs, flowers and natives. Her connections and associations in England brought her either in direct contact with the Hon. Vicary Gibbs or with nurserymen/gardeners who had access to his garden and collection of onsite bred crab apple cultivars. Her knowledge of this newly bred hybrid cultivar by the late 1920’s - early 1930’s led to her accessing specimens for her Crab Apple Avenue at Anlaby. Emily lived in “The Cottage” from the time she married Henry Hampden Dutton until her father-in-law died in the Anlaby homestead in 1914. The couple then took residence in the family homestead. Emily’s landscape over-lay at Anlaby was evident from this period onwards. After the planting of the Crab Apple Avenue on the lower terrace at Anlaby she planted other specimens around the property. The front garden of “The Cottage” is one of many places she planted this newly acquired crab apple cultivar.


This specimen of Malus x purpurea ‘Aldenhamensis’ is located in a garden bed on the west side of the front verandah of “The Cottage”, 29D Woolshed Drive


This specimen of Malus x purpurea ‘Aldenhamensis’ makes a significant aesthetic contribution to the stately garden of “The Cottage”. It is linked to two prominent late-nineteenth to early-twentieth century Anlaby identities and their development of the historic garden at Anlaby. It was planted when the original Crab Apple Avenue was planted c. early 1930’s by Emily Dutton. These specimens are possibly some of the earliest specimens of this hybrid cultivar introduced into South Australia. Their early presence in the garden at Anlaby and at “The Cottage” indicates how well connected and interested Emily Dutton was in new tree cultivars at the time. Her passion for gardening, garden design and cultivated trees and plants is exemplified by the very early introduction of these specimens into the gardens at Anlaby.