Crataegus Monogyna - Common Hawthorn
Native to Europe, northwest Africa and West Asia, the Common Hawthorn has been introduced around the world.
A small tree, at maturity it can reach up to around 10m tall, with a thick crown of leaves. Leaves are 2-4cm long, dark green and deeply lobed. The bark of the tree is brown with verticle cracks. Young stems are typically thorned, up to around 1.5cm long, in small clusters.
The flowers are small and white, five-petaled, around 2cm wide, and give way to red fruits, which are a common food for wild birds. Blooms appear from late spring, with fruits appearing in the early autumn months. The fruits, known as haws, can be eaten raw but are more commonly turned into jams, syrups, or wines. Flowers and leaves are also edible, though should be used when young in salads to avoid a tougher texture.
Hawthorn has a long history of being used medicinally; almost all parts of the tree are used to treat heart and circulatory problems. Please contact a GP before using in a medicinal context.
Fully hardy down to -15°C.