Plant types and subtypes: Trees & Shrubs, Trees, Shrub-like Trees, Deciduous
Light Requirements: sun, part-sun
Water Use: medium
Soil Moisture: moist
Soil Description: neutral, rich, average
Bloom Time: June
Bloom Color: white
Leaf Color: green
Hardiness Zone: 5, 6, 7, 8
Additional Tags: attracts birds, attracts butterflies, berries, edible, fall interest, fragrant flowers, hedging plant, showy fruit
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Crataegus phaenopyrumAlso known as:
Crataegus cordata, Crataegus populifolia, Crataegus youngii
Crataegus phaenopyrum is one of the showiest species of the genus. It is a medium-sized deciduous tree that can easily be pruned or trimmed to maintain a more shrub-like form. It is dense, sometimes multi-trunked, with low growing horizontal branches. As with other members of the genus, it has long sharp thorns. White flowers appear in clusters, are fragrant but malodorous, and very short lived lasting no longer than one week. The flowers are followed very showy and profuse clusters of bright red berry-like fruit that will persist well into winter. These are small, no more than 1/4" across, edible, and are actually pomes (the same as apples). The leaves are lobed, serrated, dark green and glossy, and produce excellent fall colors in bright shades of orange and red.
Crataegus phaenopyrum is reasonably adaptable to all soils, but prefers a rich, well-drained environment in full sun. It can be used as a specimen in open areas, and can also be planted in groups, trimmed and used as a hedging plant. Because of its sharp thorns it is best kept at a distance from heavy foot traffic. Pruning should be done in late winter to early spring. One week flowering period in June. Zones 5-8
It is easiest to propagate from freshly collected seeds. Seeds that have been dried and stored will require a prolonged period of stratification. Can be propagated from cuttings.
This species is one of the most resistant to leaf diseases of any others in the genus. Its use in cultivation dates back to the 1700th when it be came popular in the Washington, DC area, hence the common name "Washington hawthorn". The fruits are edible and can be made into preserves. Crataegus phaenopyrum 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, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, MS, NC, NJ, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, WV
USDA Endangered Status:
- Endangered: FL
|Species||Crataegus phaenopyrum||Washington hawthorn|