Family: Rosaceae | Genus: CRATAEGUS
type : Trees, Deciduous
sun exposure : Full Sun
water : Moderate Water
Plant Details

Members of the rose family, these small to medium-size, multitrunked trees are well known for their pretty, typically white flower clusters, which appear after leaf-out in springin fact, the hawthorn blossom is Missouri's state flower. Showy fruits resembling tiny apples appear in summer and autumn and often hang on into winter. The thorny branches need some pruning to thin out twiggy growth. Hawthorns attract bees and birds but are not usually browsed by deer.

cockspur thorn

crataegus crus-galli

  • Zones US, MS; USDA 6-7.
  • Native to eastern U.S. and Canada.
  • Wide-spreading tree to 30 feet high, 35 feet across.
  • Stiff thorns to 3 inches long.
  • Smooth, glossy, toothed, 1- to 3 inches-long leaves are dark green, turning orange to red in fall.
  • Dull orange-red fruit.
  • Tough and drought tolerant.
  • Most successful hawthorn for Oklahoma.
  • Crataegus c.
  • inermis ('Crusader') is thornless.

english hawthorn

crataegus laevigata

  • Zones US, MS; USDA 6-7.
  • Native to Europe and North Africa.
  • Moderate growth to 1825 feet high, 1520 feet wide.
  • Best known through its selections.
  • Crimson Cloud ('Superba') has bright red single owers with white centers, vivid red fruit.
  • Double-owered forms (which set little fruit) include 'Double White', 'Double Pink', and 'Paul's Scarlet', with clusters of rose to red owers.
  • All have 2 inches toothed, lobed leaves lacking good fall color.
  • Trees are very prone to leaf spot, which can defoliate them and shorten their life.

parsley hawthorn

crataegus marshallii

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • Native to southern U.S. To 1015 feet tall and wide, occasionally to 25 feet Early spring flowers are dainty white with purple-tipped anthers.
  • Finely cut leaves to 112 inches long resemble parsley, turn red or yellow in fall.
  • Striking cherry-red fruits persist after leaves drop.
  • Tolerates a wide range of soils.
  • Relatively disease free.


crataegus opaca

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • Native to southeastern U.S. Attractive, large shrub or small tree famous for its fruitscalled mayhawswhich are prized for making jelly.
  • Eventually reaches 2030 feet tall and wide.
  • Inch-wide flowers; matte green, lobed, 1- to 2 inches-long leaves with hairy undersides.
  • Fruits are typically red and ripen in early summer (though in the Lower and Coastal South, bloom may occur as early as January, and fruits may ripen by April or May).
  • In its native range, mayhaw grows in damp ground, but it will tolerate some dryness.
  • If you want to harvest the fruit to make jelly, choose a heavy-yielding selection.
  • The plant is self-fertile, but cross-pollination between two different selections produces heavier crops.
  • Full sun or light shade.

washington hawthorn

Big Red

  • Red fruit to 1 inches across.
  • Very dependable selection from the Pearl River swamps of Mississippi.


  • Red fruit to 34 inches across; all ripen at the same time, rather than over several weeks.

Golden Farris

  • Golden fruit over 12 inches in diameter.
  • Bears heavily and at an early age.


  • Dark red fruit almost 1 inches across.
  • Very productive.


  • Pink fruit prized for preserves.
  • From Texas and Louisiana.

Super Spur

  • Heavy crop of 34 inches red fruit; particularly good for jelly.

Texas Star

  • Red to orange-red fruit to almost 1 inches across.

crataegus phaenopyrum

  • Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8.
  • Native to southeastern U.S. Moderate growth to 25 feet tall, 20 feet across.
  • Graceful, open limb structure.
  • Glossy leaves 23 inches long with three to ve sharp-pointed lobes (like some maples).
  • In Upper and Middle South, foliage turns beautiful orange, scarlet, or purplish in fall.
  • Broad flower clusters.
  • Shiny red fruit hangs on well into winter.
  • Not successful in the southern Midwest but a choice hawthorn elsewhere.
  • One of the least prone to reblight but quite susceptible to rust that disfigures fruit and foliage.

littlehip hawthorn

crataegus spathulata

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • Native to southeastern and midwestern U.S. Large shrub or small tree to 15-25 feet high.
  • Small, bright green leaves are not deeply lobed.
  • Bright red fruit.
  • Tough.
  • Beautiful bark.

green hawthorn

crataegus viridis

  • Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8.
  • Native to southeastern U.S. Moderate growth to 2530 feet.; broad, spreading crown.
  • Red fruit.
  • Winter King is vase shaped, with silvery stems and showy red fruit that lasts all winter; susceptible to rust.

These trees will grow in any soil as long as it is well drained. Better grown under somewhat austere conditions, since good soil, regular water, and fertilizer all promote succulent new growth that is most susceptible to reblight. The disease makes entire branches die back quickly; cut out blighted branches well below dead part. The rust stage of cedar-apple rust can be a problem wherever eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) grows nearby. Aphids and scale are widespread potential pests.

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