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Crataegus phaenopyrum

Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Cotoneaster cordatus
  • Crataegus populifolia
Description

Crataegus phaenopyrum, commonly called Washington hawthorn, is noted for its attractive flowers and foliage, bright red fruits and fall color. It is a small, low-branching, deciduous tree that typically grows 25-30’ tall with a rounded crown.

It is thorny so can be grown as a hedge for a screen or security, planted in small groups, or a specimen in a lawn.  It is tolerant of urban conditions so also makes a great street tree.  

This plant has spike-like thorns (1-3"), and strong wood with a gray trunk. It boasts orange, scarlet, to purple fall foliage.  It is the last hawthorn to flower and is also the most heat tolerant hawthorn.  It is tolerant of a wide range of soils but prefers moist, well-drained loam and to be planted in the full sun.  

Fire Risk: This plant has a low flammability rating.

Seasons of Interest: 

  Leaf:   Fall                  Blooms:  Summer            Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Fall

Wildlife Value:    

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems: Insect pests include borers, caterpillars, lace bugs, leafminers, and scale. The Washington hawthorn shows good resistance to cedar-apple rust. Fire blight, fungal leaf spots, powdery mildew, cankers, and apple scab are occasional problems.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Prominent, long thorns on stems
  • Triangular-ovate leaves with serrated margins
  • Bright, red berries September through winter

Deciduous tree 25-30' tall, 20-25' wide.

Blooms early June, blooms last 7-10 days. Fruit reddens in September and October, lasts through winter. Good specimen plant or for use in hedge, border or as screen. Thorns are very sharp. 

Full sun, urban and pollution tolerant, prefers well-drained soil, is pH adaptable. 

 

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Clark'
    Heavy fruiter.
  • 'Fastigiata'
    Columnar growth form with smaller flowers and fruits.
  • 'Princeton Sentry'
    alMost thornless, vigorous growth, 30' x 20', upright branches.
  • 'Winter King'
Tags:
#fragrant#thorns#deciduous#fall color#songbirds#fragrant flowers#heat tolerant#specimen#wildlife plant#showy#fall interest#security#flowering tree#playground#hedges#food source#low flammability#deer resistant#spines#children's garden#red fruits#native garden#fire resistant#urban conditions#screen#edible fruits#fall fruits#small groups#thorny#glossy#fantz
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Clark'
    Heavy fruiter.
  • 'Fastigiata'
    Columnar growth form with smaller flowers and fruits.
  • 'Princeton Sentry'
    alMost thornless, vigorous growth, 30' x 20', upright branches.
  • 'Winter King'
Tags:
#fragrant#thorns#deciduous#fall color#songbirds#fragrant flowers#heat tolerant#specimen#wildlife plant#showy#fall interest#security#flowering tree#playground#hedges#food source#low flammability#deer resistant#spines#children's garden#red fruits#native garden#fire resistant#urban conditions#screen#edible fruits#fall fruits#small groups#thorny#glossy#fantz
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Crataegus
    Species:
    phaenopyrum
    Family:
    Roseaceae
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North America
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    It is a host plant for the Gray Hairstreak, Red-spotted Purple, and Viceroy butterflies.  Hummingbirds and butterflies nectar from the blooms.  Songbirds like cedar waxwings, quail, wild turkeys and small mammals eat the fruit.
    Play Value:
    Edible fruit
    Fragrance
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Washington hawthorn shows good resistance to cedar-apple rust. This plant is highly resistant to damage from deer.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 25 ft. 0 in. - 30 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 20 ft. 0 in. - 25 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Oval
    Pyramidal
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Coarse
    Appendage:
    Thorns
  • 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
    Moist
    Very Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Pome
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Glossy red pome clusters in the fall September-October. Bright red, shiny, 1/4" wide.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Corymb
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    White flat-topped corymbs appear in late spring or early summer soon after leaf out. Terminal and axillary corymbs with many flowers, white, 20 stamens, pink anthers, ½” wide.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Orange
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Dark green, glossy, simple, alternate, lobed with serrate margins, ovate 1"-3" long and 1/4"- 2 1/4" wide. Leaf base is truncate with an acute apex. Red, orange, to purple fall color. Alternate, simple, 1-3" long, triangular-ovate with serrated, 3-5 lobed margin. Dark green above, lighter below. 1" long petiole.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Light Brown
    Bark Plate Shape:
    Round
    Bark Description:
    Flat and plate-like and may have thorns on it.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Slender, brown stems have 1"-3" long thorns.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Recreational Play Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Children's Garden
    Edible Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Hedge
    Screen/Privacy
    Security
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Street Tree
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Fire
    Heat
    Pollution
    Urban Conditions
    Problems:
    Frequent Insect Problems