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Plants that fill a similar niche:
Crataegus nitida Form in bloom
Crataegus crus-galli Crataegus crusgalli var. pyricanthifolia - flowers
Crataegus phaenopyrum Crataegus phaenopyrum
Crataegus crus-galli var. inermis has some common disease problems:
Fire Blight
Cedar Apple Rust

Hawthorn Crataegus crus-galli var. inermis

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

Crataegus, or Hawthorn, is a genus containing many species and varieties that grows in low swamps and river bottoms as well as high mountain ridges throughout North Carolina. Crataegus crusgallii var inermis, or Thornless Cockspur Hawthorn, is a variety of C. crusgalli, a deciduous tree or shrub noted for being very dense and providing robust shade, but unlike C. crusfalli which has 4 inch thorns, the 'inermis' variety is thornless.

It is native to North Carolina as well as other places in North America. The tree grows to a medium-large size of around 20 to 30 feet in height with a 9 inch trunk and produces both flowers and small red berry fruits. Both of these can provide a nice color accent to a garden. It grows well in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun, but will tolerate a wide range of soils with good drainage, light shade, and some drought. 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.  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. The tree produces white flowers in May which form red berries which are not well liked by birds. In the fall the leaves turn a brilliant red for a great color accent. The plant is very accepting of trimming and can be cut back to old wood and will resprout freely. It is often used as a hedge.

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. 

More information on Crataegus crus-galli.

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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
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The leaves, berries, and flowers are used in medicines and herbals for cardiovascular health. The wood is strong, tough, and heavy, but has little commercial value.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern North America, Canada to Georgia, west to Mississippi
    Distribution:
    Eastern North America
    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.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Edible fruit
    Screening
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Nesting
    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
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Horizontal
    Pyramidal
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    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
    Moist
    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
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    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 Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Radial
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    White flat 2 to 3 inch corymbs appear in mid spring and last about 1 week. 5 petaled 1/2 inch white flowers have an unpleasant fragrance. Flowers bloom from April to May.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Obovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    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 Color:
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Fissured
    Smooth
    Bark Plate Shape:
    Round
    Bark Description:
    Flat and plate-like
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Edible Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Flowering Tree
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Screen/Privacy
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Fire
    Pollution
    Urban Conditions
    Problems:
    Frequent Disease Problems
    Frequent Insect Problems