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Cockspur Thorn Crataegus crus-galli var. inermis

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
kray-TAY-gus krus-GAY-lee IN-er-mis
Description

Thornless cockspur hawthorn is a flowering tree or large shrub with wide-spreading low branches. It is adaptable to many environments but prefers full sun with moist, well-drained loam.  "Inermis" means thornless, hence the name thornless hawthorn.  It is tolerant of drought and urban conditions and makes a great specimen tree in a lawn or woodland garden or in a small group planting.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Insect problems include aphids, borers, caterpillars, lacebugs, leaf miners, red spider mites, and scale.  Hawthorns suffer from many diseases including rusts, fireblight, fungal leaf spots, powdery mildew, cankers, apple scab, and blights.  

Fire Risk: This plant has a low flammability rating.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#white#fall color#drought tolerant#white flowers#wildlife plant#native tree#winter interest#thornless#flowering tree#air pollution tolerant#lawn tree#food source#low flammability#NC native#fire resistant#edible fruits#fall fruits#larval host plant#malodorus#bird friendly#nectar plant late spring#butterfly friendly#nectar plant mid-spring#pollinator garden#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#woodlands#red-spotted purple butterfly#gray hairstreak butterfly#viceroy butterfly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#white#fall color#drought tolerant#white flowers#wildlife plant#native tree#winter interest#thornless#flowering tree#air pollution tolerant#lawn tree#food source#low flammability#NC native#fire resistant#edible fruits#fall fruits#larval host plant#malodorus#bird friendly#nectar plant late spring#butterfly friendly#nectar plant mid-spring#pollinator garden#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#woodlands#red-spotted purple butterfly#gray hairstreak butterfly#viceroy butterfly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Crataegus
    Species:
    crus-galli
    Family:
    Roseaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Quebec to North Carolina and Kansas
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    This plant provides nectar for pollinators. It is a larval host plant for Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus), Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax), and Viceroy (Limenitis archippus). Red-spotted Purple and Viceroy rarely use this host plant in North Carolina. Birds relish the fruits.
    Edibility:
    Fruits are edible but might be best left for the birds.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 20 ft. 0 in. - 30 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 20 ft. 0 in. - 35 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Native Plant
    Tree
    Habit/Form:
    Spreading
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    24-60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Pome
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    3/8" - 1/2" pome ripens to red and persists into late fall. Fruits are sometimes call "haws"
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Corymb
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Radial
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Description:
    White flat 2"-3" corymbs appear in mid spring and last about 1 week. 5 petaled white flowers have an unpleasant fragrance. Flowers bloom from April to May.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Obovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Glossy, dark green simple, alternate, serrate margins, obovate 1"-4" long and 1/3"-1 1/2" wide. Cuneate base, rounded apex. Bronze-red to orange fall color.
  • Bark:
    Bark Plate Shape:
    Round
    Bark Description:
    Flat and plate-like
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Edible Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Flowering Tree
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Fire
    Pollution
    Urban Conditions
    Problems:
    Frequent Disease Problems
    Frequent Insect Problems