A flowering tree with small edible fruits, the hawthorn has cultural significance for many ancient cultures. With large white flowers and small red apple-like fruits, the hawthorn is a delight to see all year-round.
This tree is eligible for a $50 Tree Rebate.
More detail: Hawthorn’s Tree of the Month.
The leaves of most species have lobed or serrate margins and are somewhat variable in shape
Small, white ball that opens into five snow-white petals set around slender stamens with bright pink heads
Small and red colored with a fleshy, berry-like exterior
Smooth with sharp, long thorns
Smooth grey in young individuals, developing shallow longitudinal fissures with narrow ridges in older trees
Typically pyramidal shape
Usually can grow from 16 to 49 feet tall
Native to the Mediterranean region including north Africa and all of Europe and central Asia, and now grows in many areas of North America
Small- to medium-shrub or deciduous tree
Leaves are reddish-purple in spring, changing to dark green in summer, then orange, scarlet or purple in fall
Will grow in most soils, including alkaline
Sun or partial shade
Cockspur thorn, Japanese hawthorn, redhaw hawthorn
Pests and Diseases
Leaf spot makes leaves turn yellow and drop, and leaf rust attacks the flowers. There are many other common diseases which can affect the hawthorn but none are too serious. A wide variety of pests also attack the hawthorn but the worst among them is the San Jose scale.
The hawthorn berry is one of the best cardiac tonics available, and is often used to treat high blood pressure.
The hawthorn leaf-buds are good cooked (10 to 20 minutes) and have a similar taste to lima beans. They make a great addition to chilis and soups.
The hawthorn has been regarded as the emblem of hope, and its branches are stated to have been carried by the ancient Greeks in wedding processions.