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Crataegus viridis is often confused with:
Crataegus nitida Form in bloom
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Tilia americana Tilia americana
Crataegus crus-galli Crataegus crusgalli var. pyricanthifolia - flowers
Crataegus nitida Form in bloom
Crataegus viridis has some common disease problems:
Hawthorn Lace Bug
Cedar Apple Rust
Fire Blight

Crataegus viridis

Phonetic Spelling
krah-TEE-gus VEER-ih-diss
Description

Crataegus, or Hawthorn, is a small, deciduous shrub or tree that includes many species and varieties. Crataegus viridis, or Green Hawthorn, like most hawthorns, has gray, thorny bark, bears white flowers in the spring, and produces red fruit in the fall. However, unlike most hawthorns, the Green Hawthorn is resistent to leaf rust. It is native to the southeastern United States. Green Hawthorn is commonly found in bottom lands, swamps, and other wetlands in the Coastal Plain and adjacent Piedmont of North Carolina.

Green Hawthorn is a dense, rounded tree that typically grows 20-35’ tall with a broad spreading crown. When present, thorns grow to 1 1/2 inches long. Leaves turn purple to red in fall. Fruits, sometimes called haws, are technically edible, but are usually best left for the birds. Green Hawthorn is easy to grow in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. It tolerates urban pollution, light shade, and drought, but moist, rich, fertile soils may encourage succulent (or water sprout) growth. The plant also tolerates pruning and can be shaped to a hedge in the landscape.

The cultivar, 'Winter King’ is a popular variety of Green Hawthorn. It is disease-resistant, has a profuse bloom of flowers in the spring, larger fruits, silvery-barked stems and attractive fall color (purple and scarlet). It is an excellent landscape tree and is largely spineless, with only occasional small thorns (to 1.5 inches long). This plant is probably the most commonly available hawthorn on the market.

Diseases, Insects, and other Plant Problems:

A disease-resistant hawthorns, although there is some susceptibility to cedar hawthorn rust (rust stage where eastern red cedars are present in the area) and fire blight. Fungal leaf spots, powdery mildew, cankers and apple scab are occasional problems. Insect pests include borers, caterpillars, lacebugs, leafminers and scale.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Winter King'
    Profuse bloom of flowers, larger fruits, silvery-barked stems, attractive fall color (purple and scarlet), few thorns.
'Winter King'
Tags:
#deciduous#drought tolerant#interesting bark#wildlife plant#winter interest#fire low flammability#bird friendly#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#Audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Winter King'
    Profuse bloom of flowers, larger fruits, silvery-barked stems, attractive fall color (purple and scarlet), few thorns.
'Winter King'
Tags:
#deciduous#drought tolerant#interesting bark#wildlife plant#winter interest#fire low flammability#bird friendly#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#Audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Crataegus
    Species:
    viridis
    Family:
    Rosaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The wood is strong, heavy, and hard, but with little commercial value.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern United States
    Distribution:
    Virginia to Florida, west to Texas, and north to Illinois.
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Birds are attracted to the fruit in the fall and find nesting shelter amid the thorny branches. Host to nectar-bees, nectar-butterflies, and mammals seeking the fruit. Larval host for kings hairstreak, gray hairstreak, soapberry hairstreak, banded hairstreak, red-banded hairstreak.
    Edibility:
    Fruit is edible, but not of high quality. It can be used to make jelly, but is often left for the birds.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 20 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
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
    Appendage:
    Thorns
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    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, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Pome
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Flowers are followed by small red fruits that ripen in September and usually persist on the tree well into winter.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Corymb
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Two inch cluster of small, five petaled, white flowers with an unpleasant odor that attracts midges for pollination.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Glossy dark green leaves (to 3 1/2 inches long) that are shallowly lobed in the upper half.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Exfoliating
    Scaly
    Bark Description:
    Thin, gray bark that breaks into narrow scales as the tree ages. Bark on mature trunks exfoliates to reveal orange inner bark.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Rain Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Flowering Tree
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Fire
    Pollution