The flowering period of hawthorn is from March to June, and haws are produced from May to September (2). The haws are extremely important winter food items for a range of birds, which disperse the seeds by ingesting them and passing them in the faeces away from the parent plant (5). Hawthorns can be fairly long-lived, often reaching 250 years of age (5); near Brecon Ash in Norfolk, there is a meeting place hawthorn, which is said to be around 700 years old (3). Perhaps the most well-known old hawthorn is the Holy Thorn at Glastonbury, which flowers twice a year, once at Christmas and again in May. It was first referred to in a sixteenth century poem, and according to legend grew from the staff of Joseph of Arimathea when he thrust it into the ground during a visit to Britain in the first century AD (3).
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