February 1, 2023
Crataegus monogyna

Crataegus monogyna

Crataegus monogyna is native to Europe, West Asia, and Northwest Africa. It is also known as Hawthorn, Mayblossom, Maythorn, Quickthorn, Whitethorn, Motherdie, Haw, Single-seeded Hawthorn, or Oneseed Hawthorn. It is a small tree or a shrub. It grows to about 14 meters or 45ft. It is part of the Rosaceae family of plants.

They sometimes grow Crataegus monogyna as a hedge rather than a tree. Crataegus monogyna is also good firewood which provides a lot of heat without producing a lot of smoke.

Crataegus monogyna
Crataegus monogyna
Crataegus monogyna
Crataegus monogyna grown as a hedge at Regent’s Park, London

I have an affection for this tree as I remember it from childhood. The home where I grew up had a mature Hawthorn tree as the focal point on the side of the lawn. Each spring it would fill with a profusion of blossoms and later with the red berries.

How to grow Crataegus monogyna:

Grow it in the sun or partial shade. Plant it any type of soil as long is it is moist but well-drained. Propagate by seed. Watch out for leaf spot and fireblight as well caterpillars, gall mites, and aphids.

Young Crataegus monogyna stem has thorns but mature tree stem is dull brown. The leaves are about 1.5in or 4cm long. They are deeply lobed, and obovate. They a darker green above and paler underneath. Flowers are hermaphrodite. They grow in corymbs of 3 to 5 and have 5 petals and white in color. They are slightly fragrant. The fruit looks like a berry but actually it resembles an apple or pome-like. It contains a single seed. The birds eat the fruit in winter. This deciduous shrub or tree flowers in spring. The flowers are creamish-white. And the berries are red.

Crataegus monogyna is a source of antioxidants. They research Crataegus monogyna for medicinal purposes especially for treating cardiac insufficiency. The berries, petals, and the leaves are all edible. They make syrups, jellies, and jam with the fruit. The fruit is called the Haw. They use the petals were in an almond-milk based pottage in medieval England called Spinee. And they used the leaves when they are tender in salads.

Probably the oldest Tree in France is a Hawthorn next to Saint-Mars-sur-la-Futaie church in the Mayenne in Western France.

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