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Bigfruit Hawthorn Crataegus macrosperma

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
kree-TEE-gus mak-roh-SPERM-uh
Description

Bigfruit Hawthorn is a native large shrub or small tree found in mesic or subxeric hardwood forests, wooded slopes, rock outcrops, pastures, thickets, mountain balds and rocky summits in the Piedmont and mountains of NC. The trees may vary in shape and size and fruit production depending on where they are growing as hybridization occurs easily with other hawthorns. The white flowers bloom in spring and are followed by edible fruits in fall. The branches are thorny.

This tree prefers a well-drained moisture-retentive loamy soil but is not at all fussy and will tolerate clay soils. Fruiting is best in full sun but will grow in partial shade.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#small tree#edible plant#white flowers#shrub#wildlife plant#native tree#moths#native shrub#cover plant#spring flowers#NC native#red fruits#edible fruits#Braham Arboretum#bird friendly#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#small tree#edible plant#white flowers#shrub#wildlife plant#native tree#moths#native shrub#cover plant#spring flowers#NC native#red fruits#edible fruits#Braham Arboretum#bird friendly#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Crataegus
    Species:
    macrosperma
    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 Canada and central and eastern U.S.A., NC
    Distribution:
    AR, CT, DE, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, WI, WV Canada: NB, NL, NS, ON
    Wildlife Value:
    Important nectar flower for insects; food plant of many moths including the eggar moth; haws provide winter fruit for songbirds. Good nesting habitat with thorns providing protection from predators.
    Play Value:
    Edible fruit
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Wildlife Food Source
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Appendage:
    Thorns
  • 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
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Pome
    Fruit Description:
    Small pome with 1-5 pyrenes that resemble the “stones” in related plums, peaches, etc. Sometimes called the ‘haw’.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Description:
    Flowers April- May. Clusters of white flowers with 5 petals, 5-10 stamens and pink to reddish-purple anthers.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    1-3 inch oval to ovate leaves are sparse to densely glandular; base is rounded to cuneate, lobes 3-6 per side, apex acute to acuminate, margins serrate and irregulate in size.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Light Brown
    Red/Burgundy
    Surface/Attachment:
    Fissured
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    Fissures with age.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Zig Zags
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    New growth golden green to strongly reddish tinged and glabrous. 1-year old stems usually shiny and dark brown, older stems with thorns.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Design Feature:
    Barrier
    Hedge
    Attracts:
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds