Crataegus monogyna is our native Hawthorn, and is also known as Mayflower as that is the month they flower. How creative!
This small, deciduous tree makes a very striking specimen and the twisted branches add character. During May it is covered in clusters of creamy-white flowers which have a delightful fragrance. The flowers are followed by red haws (fruits) at the end of summer and are loved by birds.
Hawthorn has been part of superstition and folklore since very early times. Hawthorn is a pagan symbol of fertility and has ancient associations with May Day. It was the ancestor of the Maypole and its leaves and flowers are the source of May Day garlands, as well as appearing in the wreath of the Green Man.
Superstition surrounds Crataegus monogyna, as the tree was supposed to ward off evil spirits and the flowers were never brought into a home as they were seen as a symbol for bad luck. We believe every house should have at least one, just don’t bring the flowers inside…
Flowers: Plentiful small white flowers, normally in May
Fruit: Roundish dark red berries
Leaves: Deeply cut pale to dark green leaves
Bark: Light grey, textured
Autumn colour: Wine-red to yellow-orange
Ultimate height: 12m
Uses: Very robust tree, not demanding at all, popular in hedges and even good as a specimen