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Overview

Brief Summary

Huge snowballs, that's what hawthorns can look like when they blossom in the spring. Hawthorns are resistant to sea winds and therefore were often chosen for planting in the dunes. The clusters of white flowers can be so massive, that they hide the rest of the shrub. Rose bushes have rosehips, hawthorns have haws! That's what their berries are officially called. The haws are highly desired by thrush and blackbirds, as well as by certain winter guests such as fieldfares and redwings. Hawthorns can reach the grand old age of 500. The wood is hard and sturdy, very suitable for wood carvings.
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Biology

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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Description

Hawthorn is also widely known as the May-tree, and is the only British plant to be named after the month in which it flowers (3). It is most typically thought of as a hedgerow shrub, its thorns forming a good barrier to animals, however when isolated hawthorns are left uncut they develop into strong trees with dense crowns (4). The bark is greyish to brown in colour with regular fissures that reveal an orange layer below (2). The 3 to 5-lobed shiny leaves are roughly oval in shape. The flowers, which occur in groups of 9-18, are white, often with a pinkish blush (2), and provide a cheering display in the landscape that marks the cusp between spring and summer (3). The hawthorn tree is the origin of the Maypole, and the blossoms are used in Mayday decorations (3). The bright red berries, known as 'haws' are produced between May and September (2).
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Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Range

This very common tree is widespread throughout Britain and the rest of Europe (2). In Britain it has been planted as a hedgerow plant for centuries, so its natural range is unclear (6).
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Ecology

Habitat

Hawthorn grows in hedgerows, scrub, thickets and woodlands in a range of habitats; it seems to favour calcareous soils (2), open habitats, heaths and rocky areas (3).
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Associations

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Plant / associate
fruitbody of Agaricus campestris var. equestris is associated with Crataegus monogyna
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / internal feeder
larva of Anomoia purmunda feeds within fruit of Crataegus monogyna
Other: major host/prey

Plant / associate
Anthocoris gallarum-ulmi is associated with aphid-galled leaf of Crataegus monogyna

Foodplant / sap sucker
adult of Atractotomus mali sucks sap of Crataegus monogyna
Remarks: season: late 6-early 8

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Basidiodendron rimosum is saprobic on dead, decayed wood of Crataegus monogyna

Foodplant / feeds on
adult of Bruchus loti feeds on pollen? of Crataegus monogyna
Remarks: season: (1-)summer(-12)

Plant / associate
adult of Campyloneura virgula is associated with Crataegus monogyna
Remarks: season: 7-10
Other: major host/prey

Plant / associate
fruitbody of Clavulinopsis umbrinella is associated with Crataegus monogyna
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / mycorrhiza
fruitbody of Coltricia confluens is mycorrhizal with live root of Crataegus monogyna
Remarks: Other: uncertain

Foodplant / mobile cased feeder
larva of Cryptocephalus coryli grazes in mobile case on fallen leaf of Crataegus monogyna
Remarks: captive: in captivity, culture, or experimentally induced

Plant / resting place / on
adult of Cryptocephalus frontalis may be found on Crataegus monogyna
Remarks: season: 5-8
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / visitor
adult of Cryptocephalus nitidulus visits for nectar and/or pollen flower of Crataegus monogyna
Remarks: season: early 5-9

Foodplant / sap sucker
Deraeocoris olivaceus sucks sap of berry (young) of Crataegus monogyna

Foodplant / sap sucker
Dysaphis crataegi sucks sap of live Crataegus monogyna

Foodplant / parasite
fruitbody of Entoloma clypeatum parasitises live root of Crataegus monogyna
Remarks: season: 4-6
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / parasite
fruitbody of Flammulina velutipes var. lactea parasitises living wood of Crataegus monogyna

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Flammulina velutipes var. velutipes is saprobic on dead wood of Crataegus monogyna

Foodplant / gall
aecium of Gymnosporangium clavariiforme causes gall of live, swollen petiole of Crataegus monogyna
Remarks: season: 7-9+
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / gall
aecium of Gymnosporangium confusum causes gall of live fruit of Crataegus monogyna
Other: major host/prey

Plant / associate
fruitbody of Lepista saeva is associated with Crataegus monogyna

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Micromphale foetidum is saprobic on dead, fallen, decayed stick of Crataegus monogyna

Foodplant / feeds on
adult of Orsodacne cerasi feeds on anther of Crataegus monogyna
Remarks: season: 4-9

Foodplant / feeds on
adult of Orsodacne humeralis feeds on pollen? of Crataegus monogyna
Remarks: season: 3-6
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Peniophora boidinii is saprobic on dead wood of Crataegus monogyna

Foodplant / parasite
fruitbody of Phellinus ferreus parasitises living trunk of Crataegus monogyna
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Phellinus ferruginosus is saprobic on dead wood of Crataegus monogyna
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Phellinus pomaceus is saprobic on dead Crataegus monogyna

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Phellinus punctatus is saprobic on dead, standing trunk of Crataegus monogyna

Foodplant / parasite
fruitbody of Phlebiella bourdotii parasitises live trunk of Crataegus monogyna

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Phlebiella tulasnelloidea is saprobic on dead, decayed wood of Crataegus monogyna

Foodplant / parasite
mostly hypophyllous cleistothecium of Phyllactinia mali parasitises live leaf of Crataegus monogyna

Plant / associate
Physatocheila dumetorum is associated with lichen-covered branch of Crataegus monogyna

Foodplant / parasite
Podosphaera clandestina var. clandestina parasitises Crataegus monogyna

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Sistotremella perpusilla is saprobic on dead, decayed wood of Crataegus monogyna
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Skeletocutis carneogrisea is saprobic on dead wood of Crataegus monogyna
Remarks: Other: uncertain

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Terana caerulea is saprobic on dead, decayed wood of Crataegus monogyna
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Typhula spathulata is saprobic on dead, fallen, decayed wood of debris of Crataegus monogyna

Foodplant / hemiparasite
haustorium of Viscum album is hemiparasitic on branch of Crataegus monogyna
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Volvariella bombycina is saprobic on dead stump (large) of Crataegus monogyna

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Vuilleminia cystidiata is saprobic on dead, decorticate, attached branch of Crataegus monogyna
Other: major host/prey

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Crataegus monogyna

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Crataegus monogyna

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 12
Specimens with Barcodes: 78
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Status

Widespread and very common (2).
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Threats

This tree is not threatened.
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Management

Conservation

As this species is common and widespread, conservation action is not necessary.
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Wikipedia

Crataegus monogyna

Crataegus monogyna, known as common hawthorn or single-seeded hawthorn, is a species of hawthorn native to Europe, northwest Africa and western Asia. It has been introduced in many other parts of the world where it can be an invasive weed.

Other common names include may, mayblossom, maythorn, quickthorn, whitethorn, motherdie, and haw. This species is one of several that have been referred to as Crataegus oxyacantha, a name that has been rejected by the botanical community as too ambiguous.

Description[edit]

The Common Hawthorn is a shrub or small tree 5–14 m tall, with a dense crown. The bark is dull brown with vertical orange cracks. The younger stems bear sharp thorns, 1 to 1.5 cm long. The leaves are 2–4 cm long, obovate and deeply lobed, sometimes almost to the midrib, with the lobes spreading at a wide angle. The upper surface is dark green above and paler underneath.

The hermaphrodite flowers are produced in late spring (May to early June in its native area) in corymbs of 5-25 together; each flower is about 1 cm diameter, and has five white petals, numerous red stamens, and a single style; they are moderately fragrant. The flowers are pollinated by midges, bees and other insects and later in the year bear numerous haws. The haw is a small, oval dark red fruit about 1 cm long, berry-like, but structurally a pome containing a single seed. Haws are important for wildlife in winter, particularly thrushes and waxwings; these birds eat the haws and disperse the seeds in their droppings.

The Common Hawthorn is distinguished from the related but less widespread Midland Hawthorn (C. laevigata) by its more upright growth, the leaves being deeply lobed, with spreading lobes, and in the flowers having just one style, not two or three. However they are inter-fertile and hybrids occur frequently; they are only entirely distinct in their more typical forms.

Uses[edit]

Medicinal use[edit]

Crataegus monogyna is one of the most common species used as the "hawthorn" of traditional herbalism, which is of considerable interest for treating cardiac insufficiency by evidence-based medicine. The plant parts used medicinally are usually sprigs with both leaves and flowers, or alternatively the fruit. Several species of Crataegus have both traditional and modern medicinal uses. It is a good source of antioxidant phytochemicals, especially extracts of hawthorn leaves with flowers.[2]

Crataegus monogyna 'Crimson Cloud' in Elko Nevada

In gardening and agriculture[edit]

Common Hawthorn is extensively planted as a hedge plant, especially for agricultural use. Its spines and close branching habit render it effectively stock and human proof with some basic maintenance. The traditional practice of hedge laying is most commonly practised with this species. It is a good fire wood which burns with a good heat and little smoke.[3]

Numerous hybrids exist, some of which are used as garden shrubs. The most widely used hybrid is C. × media (C. monogyna × C. laevigata), of which several cultivars are known, including the very popular 'Paul's Scarlet' with dark pink double flowers. Other garden shrubs that have sometimes been suggested as possible hybrids involving the Common Hawthorn,[citation needed] include the Various-leaved Hawthorn of the Caucasus, which is only very occasionally found in parks and gardens.

Edible "berries", petals, and leaves[edit]

The fruit of hawthorn, called haws, are edible raw but are commonly made into jellies, jams, and syrups, used to make wine, or to add flavour to brandy. Botanically they are pomes, but they look similar to berries. A haw is small and oblong, similar in size and shape to a small olive or grape, and red when ripe. Haws develop in groups of 2-3 along smaller branches. They are pulpy and delicate in taste. In this species (C. monogyna) they have only one seed, but in other species of hawthorn there may be up to 5 seeds.

Petals are also edible,[4] as are the leaves, which if picked in spring when still young are tender enough to be used in salads.[5]

Notable trees[edit]

An ancient specimen, and reputedly the oldest tree of any species in France, is to be found alongside the church at Saint Mars sur la Futaie, Mayenne.[6] The tree has a height of 9 m, and a girth of 2.65 m (2009). The inscription on the plaque beneath reads: "This hawthorn is probably the oldest tree in France. Its origin goes back to St Julien (3rd century)", but such claims are impossible to verify.

A famous specimen in England was the Glastonbury or Holy Thorn which, according to legend, sprouted from the staff of Joseph of Arimathea after he thrust it into the ground while visiting Glastonbury in the 1st century AD. The tree was noteworthy because it flowered twice in a year, once in the late spring which is normal, but also once after the harshness of midwinter had passed. The original tree at Glastonbury Abbey, felled in the 1640s during the English Civil War,[7] has been propagated as the cultivar 'Biflora'.[8] A replacement was planted by the local council in 1951, but was cut down by vandals in 2010.[9]

The oldest known living specimen in East Anglia, and possibly in the United Kingdom, is known as The Hethel Old Thorn,[10] and is located in the churchyard in the small village of Hethel, south of Norwich, in Norfolk. It is reputed to be more than 700 years old, having been planted in the 13th century.[10]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Christensen, K.I. (1992). Revision of Crataegus sect. Crataegus and nothosect. Crataeguineae (Rosaceae-Maloideae) in the Old World. Systematic Botany Monographs. 35: 1–199.
  2. ^ Oztürk N, Tunçel M.,"Assessment of Phenolic Acid Content and In Vitro Antiradical Characteristics of Hawthorn." J Med Food. 2011 May 9
  3. ^ "The burning properties of wood". Scouts. 
  4. ^ "Crataegus monogyna". Survival and Self Sufficiency. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  5. ^ Richard Mabey, Food for Free, Collins, October 2001.
  6. ^ "Fiche AFFO: L'Aubépine monogyne". Pagesperso-orange.fr. Retrieved 2014-03-15. 
  7. ^ "BBC News - The mystery over who attacked the Holy Thorn Tree". Bbc.co.uk. 2012-04-04. Retrieved 2014-03-15. 
  8. ^ Phipps, J.B.; O’Kennon, R.J.; Lance, R.W. 2003. Hawthorns and medlars. Royal Horticultural Society, Cambridge, U.K.
  9. ^ "BBC News - The mystery over who attacked the Holy Thorn Tree". Bbc.co.uk. 2012-04-04. Retrieved 2014-03-15. 
  10. ^ a b "Hethel Old Thorn". Wildlifetrusts.org/. Retrieved 18 February 2007. 

References[edit]

  • Philips, R. (1979). Trees of North America and Europe, Random House, Inc., New York. ISBN 0-394-50259-0.

Further reading[edit]

  • Bahorun, Theeshan, et al. (2003). Phenolic constituents and antioxidant capacities of Crataegus monogyna (Hawthorn) callus extracts. Food/Nahrung 47.3 (2003): 191–198.
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