Crataegus are deciduous trees and shrubs, usually with spiny branches, lobed or toothed leaves, and clusters of creamy white flowers followed by red or black fruits. The berries are of particular high ecological value which provide nutrition for many small mammals and birds.
The Crataegus monogyna, native to the UK, is a small, rounded deciduous tree with deeply lobed green leaves and thorny stems.
Flat sprays of fragrant cream flowers appear in late spring, followed by greenish berries or haws which ripen to red up to September and are held on the trees well into winter. The bark is a greyish dark brown which in older specimens becomes cracks into thin rectangular plates.
Used for hundreds of years as an agricultural stock-proof hedge due to its hardy nature, it is also used extensively as a excellent small garden tree or instant hedge with good wildlife value.
Name: Crataegus monogyna
Common Name: Common Hawthorn
Height: 4m to 8m
Width: 3m to 5m
Demands: Grows in any aspect and moist but well drained soil, prefers full sun or partial shade.
Foliage: Deciduous, glossy lobed green leaves
Fruit: Red Berries (Haws)
FACT: In Ireland particularly venerable thorns are still reckoned to be the meeting places for the fairy folk.