tree of the Rosaceae family, subfamily Malaceae
(Hawthorn, Snowy Mespilus, Hawthorn, Quince tree, Medlar, Pear tree, Apple tree, Rowan).

This family is characterised by fleshy fruits, with skin and calyx (shriveled remains of the sepals, style and stamens of the flower), containing pips (which are seeds).

Etymology: "hawthorn" comes from the Latin "alba spina", " white thorn ", because of its white flower (of the type of rose) and thorns at the base.
Origin: Europe. This species is endangered in Europe, due to a disease called fire blight (that turns leaves yellow).
Species: the Hawthorn, Crataegus monogyna, is monogynous ("one style", because the flower has one style), and the English Hawthorn, Crataegus laevigata, has two styles.

Lifespan: one of the oldest hawthorns of France is deemed 1000 years old. It is in Saint-Mars-sur-la-Futaie, in the department of Mayenne (53). It has a height of 9 m tall.
Habitat : heliophilous species which colonizes the abandoned, even calcareous fields.
Hardiness: zone 7 (it supports cold until -17 °C or 1 °F).
Height: 6-12 m tall.
Ramified trunk.
Bark cracked in flakes grey pale.
Deciduous foliage. Prickly stems. Important stipules are at the base of petiole, like small leaves.
White flowers in small clusters.

Difference English Hawthorn, Crataegus laevigata Hawthorn, Crataegus monogyna
Size 6 m 10 m
Leaves small, alternate, 5 rather shallow, toothed lobes. small, alternate, 5-7 deep, toothed lobes at the apex.
Flowers 2 styles, in May-June 1 style, in May
Fruits like a red pea containing 2 - 3 seeds. like a red pea of 0,5 cm long containing the single seed.

Legends and traditions: In Roman mythology, the hawthorn is devoted to Maïa, mother of Hermès, celebrated in May (from "Maïa"). It is in May that hawthorns blossom usually. May became the month of Mary, the Virgin, by identification. May is the month of renewal. In Britain: it is the tree of witches because it is not hit by lightning.

Hawthorn of Virginia

Origin: Virginia. Its leaves are not lobbed; they turn to red in autumn. Its thorns attain 5-10 cm. Its fruits, in clusters, resemble the small wild apples. There is a small decorative apple tree the leaves of which resemble those of Hawthorn of Virginia, but the fruit of which is somewhat bigger and the "calyx" more visible.


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