Plant types and subtypes: Trees & Shrubs, Trees, Shrub-like Trees, Deciduous
Light Requirements: sun, part-sun
Water Use: medium
Soil Moisture: moist
Soil Description: rich, average
Bloom Time: April, May
Bloom Color: white
Leaf Color: green
Hardiness Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Additional Tags: attracts birds, attracts butterflies, edible, fall interest, fragrant flowers, showy fruit
Pricing & Availability
Crataegus mollisAlso known as:
Crataegus albicans, Crataegus arkansana, Crataegus brachyphylla, Crataegus cibaria, Crataegus gravida, Crataegus induta, Crataegus invisa, Crataegus lacera, Crataegus limaria, Crataegus noelensis, Crataegus placens
Crataegus mollis is an attractive medium-sized deciduous tree that will rarely exceed 45' at maturity. It is however the largest species from the genus. It is slow growing, produces a short, sturdy trunk and horizontally spreading branches. The stems bear sturdy up to 2" long thorns. White flowers appear in showy fragrant clusters in mid-spring, and are followed by 1" apple-like (pomes) showy, edible fruit that ripen by mid-summer, promptly falling afterward. The leaves are oval, up to 4" long, deeply serrated and downy (hence the common name "downy hawthorn"). They can produce good fall colors but tend to be susceptible to disease and fall before the end of summer.
Crataegus mollis is easy to grow and does not seem to be particular about soil types and is moderately tolerant of dry conditions. It prefers rich, moist well-drained soil in full sun. It can be pruned but this should be done in late winter because it is an early bloomer. It is best used as a specimen tree in open areas, and should be kept away from foot traffic because of its sharp thorns. Flowering occurs in April or May. Zones 4-8
It is easiest to propagate from freshly collected seeds. Seeds that have been dried and stored will require a prolonged period of stratification.
The fruit is edible and often made into preserves. Crataegus mollis provides valuable cover, and food for a variety of wildlife. Young plants quickly develop a taproot and are difficult to transplant. These should be placed in a permanent location as soon as possible. The genus name "Crataegus" means "flowering thorn".
Native Range & Classification
Recorded County Distribution: USDA data
AL, AR, CT, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, ND, NE, NH, NY, OH, OK, PA, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV
USDA Endangered Status:
- Endangered: NY
|Species||Crataegus mollis||downy hawthorn|