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Crataegus crus-galli is often confused with:
Crataegus x lavalleei Fall form
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Tilia americana Tilia americana
Crataegus nitida Form in bloom
Crataegus intricata
Crataegus crus-galli has some common disease problems:
Fire Blight
Cedar Apple Rust

Hawthorn Crataegus crus-galli

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
krah-TEE-gus krus GAL-ee
Description

Crataegus crusgallii is a deciduous tree noted for being very dense and providing robust shade. It is native to North Carolina as well as other places in North America. The tree grows to a medium-large size of around 20-30 feet in height and produces both flowers and small red berry fruits. Both of these can provide a nice color accent to a garden. 

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. These flowers also produce an unsavory aroma.
This tree is also noted for producing large thorns. Some cultivars such as 'Cruzam' (also known to a lesser extent as var. inermis, meaning "without thorns") do not produce these thorns.

Critical features for identification of Crataegus sp.: Flower size, number of stamens, color of anthers, shape and hairiness of the leaves, terminal points of the lateral leaf veins, hairiness of the pedicels, length and curvature of the thorns, and characteristics of the fruit.

Fire Risk: This plant has a low flammability rating.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Cruzam'
    Thornless
  • 'Inermis'
'Cruzam', 'Inermis'
Tags:
#thorns#showy flowers#deciduous#fall color#small tree#shade tree#full sun#showy berries#fragrant flowers#drought tolerant#rose#white flowers#shrub#wildlife plant#moths#tree#spring flowers#winter interest#flowering tree#berries#showy fruits#low flammability#NC native#spines#fire resistant#hawthorn#thorny#low branches#Braham Arboretum#nesting sites#larval host plant#clay soils tolerant#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#red-spotted purple butterfly#gray hairstreak butterfly#viceroy butterfly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Cruzam'
    Thornless
  • 'Inermis'
'Cruzam', 'Inermis'
Tags:
#thorns#showy flowers#deciduous#fall color#small tree#shade tree#full sun#showy berries#fragrant flowers#drought tolerant#rose#white flowers#shrub#wildlife plant#moths#tree#spring flowers#winter interest#flowering tree#berries#showy fruits#low flammability#NC native#spines#fire resistant#hawthorn#thorny#low branches#Braham Arboretum#nesting sites#larval host plant#clay soils tolerant#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#red-spotted purple butterfly#gray hairstreak butterfly#viceroy butterfly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Crataegus
    Species:
    crus-galli
    Family:
    Rosaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The leaves, berries, and flowers are used in medicines and herbals for cardiovascular health.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern North America
    Distribution:
    Eastern North America
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Important nectar flower for insects; food plant of many moths including the eggar moth; haws provide winter fruit for songbirds. This plant also 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. Good nesting habitat with thorns providing protection from predators.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Edible fruit
    Screening
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Nesting
    Dimensions:
    Height: 15 ft. 0 in. - 35 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 20 ft. 0 in. - 35 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Appendage:
    Thorns
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    more than 60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3b, 3a, 4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Pome
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Small deep-red pome with 1-5 pyrenes that resemble the “stones” in related plums, peaches, etc. Sometimes called the ‘haw’.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    Flowers bloom in April-May with an unpleasant odor but produce red fruit
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Orange
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Obovate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Dark green leaves, spirally arranged on long shoots. with lobed or serrated margins. Wedge-shaped, obovate to oblong-ovate leaf turns orange to scarlet to purple in the Fall.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Fissured
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    Smooth and gray bark, fissuring with age.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Screen/Privacy
    Security
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Fire