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Thicket Hawthorn Crataegus intricata

Phonetic Spelling
kree-TEE-gus in-tree-KAY-tuh
Description

Crataegus, or Hawthorn, includes many different species and varieties found throughout North Carolina, from swamps and river bottoms of the east to the higher mountain ridges of the west. Crataegus intricata, or Entangled Hawthorn, is a small native hawthorn typically found in open or rocky woodlands, meadows or fields or man-made disturbed areas. The plant has long, straight thorns, bears white blossoms in the spring, and produces edible fruit in the fall.

Well-drained soil is a must but it grows in a wide variety of soil types and tolerates highly alkaline soils well. Some Hawthorns are grown as ornamentals, but because C. intricata easily forms dense thickets, its thorns make it a good security plant. The plant tolerates drought, air pollution, and wind. However, it does not do well in salt air. The plant is not fussy and tolerates moist soils and tolerates drought and heavy clay soils. For best fruit production, site the plant in full sun; it will do well in semi-shade, but fruit yields are lower. It grows from seed, but does best if you plant directly from ripened fruit in the fall for germination next spring.  Stored seed may need acid scarification or cold/hot stratification for 120 days. When grown from seed, the trees take from 5 to 8 years before bearing fruit. The flowers have a smell like decaying fish, which attracts midges for pollination. When freshly open, the flowers have a more pleasant scent.

Diseases, Pests, and Other Plant Problems:

No known disease or pest issues.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#deciduous#small tree#drought tolerant#white flowers#wildlife plant#moths#deciduous shrub#nectar plant#native shrub#native bees#spring flowers#air pollution tolerant#erosion control#food source#wind tolerant#NC native#thickets#edible fruits#thorny#alkaline soil tolerant#Braham Arboretum#nesting sites#larval host plant#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:
Tags:
#bees#deciduous#small tree#drought tolerant#white flowers#wildlife plant#moths#deciduous shrub#nectar plant#native shrub#native bees#spring flowers#air pollution tolerant#erosion control#food source#wind tolerant#NC native#thickets#edible fruits#thorny#alkaline soil tolerant#Braham Arboretum#nesting sites#larval host plant#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:
    intricata
    Family:
    Rosaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The leaves, berries, and flowers are used in medicines and herbals for cardiovascular health. The wood is strong, tough, heavy, and hard, but has little commercial value.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern North America
    Distribution:
    Maine to Georgia, Michigan to Oklahoma
    Wildlife Value:
    Native bees nectar at the flowers. Important nectar flower for insects; food plant of many moths including the eggar moth; haws provide winter fruit for songbirds. 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:
    Edible fruit
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Nesting
    Edibility:
    The fruits are edible and sweet but mealy. Can be eaten raw, cooked or dried for later use. Hard dry flesh.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 4 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 4 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Multi-stemmed
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Coarse
    Appendage:
    Thorns
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    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
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Green
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Pome
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Pome with 1 to 5 pyrenes that resemble the “stones” in related plums, peaches, etc. Sometimes called the ‘haw’.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Corymb
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Description:
    Five petaled white flowers in the spring. Have both male and female parts are pollinated by midges and bees. Flower blooms from April to May.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Oval or wedge-shaped leaves, spirally arranged on long shoots. Lobed or serrated margins, notched on the edges, 2 to 3 inches long, broadest at or below the middle.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Gray
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Fissured
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    Branches with curved thorns 1 to 1.5 inches long; bark smooth and gray, fissuring with age.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Bud Scales:
    Enclosed in more than 2 scales
    Stem Description:
    Stems are brown and red. Winter buds have three or more scales overlapped like shingles
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Edible Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Hedge
    Security
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Erosion
    Pollution
    Wind