Crataegus spp.
Family Rosaceae

* The many varieties of hawthorn are difficult to distinguish, and even their number is in dispute. Some believe that there are less than 100 hawthorn species, while others have classified more than 1000 species.
* Leaves may be ovate, maple-like, or deeply lobed, sometimes with pointed tips, finely or coarsely toothed, 1/2-4".
* Bark smooth or scaly.
* Long thorns extending perpendicular from branches, 1-3".
* Fruits small, apple-like, yellow or red.
* Height: 10-20'.

Natural History:
* Habitat: Orchards, old meadows, and where planted as an ornamental tree.
* Range: Throughout the United States and Canada.
* Native.

* Hawthorns line College Road at Wellesley by the Founders Hall parking lot. They were chosen because of their picturesque tracery of branches, which adds beauty to the winter landscape.

* In Europe, hawthorns are often pruned into hedges and made into fence posts. The word "haw" has the same origin as the word "hedge."

* The hawthorn's dense branches are popular nest spots for many songbirds. The trees are valuable as honey trees for bees to pollinate, and they provide food for cottontail rabbits, white-tailed deer, and many wild birds.

* The hawthorn fruits in the center photo appear hairy and orange because they are infected by a fungal disease.


Created by: Allaire Diamond and Jiasuey Hsu
Maintained by: Nick Rodenhouse
Created: July 31, 1998
Last Modified: November 21, 2008