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Crataegus monogyna
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

common hawthorn

Rounded deciduous tree to about 10m in height, with thorny branches and glossy, deeply lobed dark green leaves, colouring gold in autumn. Flat sprays of fragrant, creamy-white flowers with pink anthers, are produced in late spring, followed by plentiful dark red berries in autumn

Other common names
hedgerow thorn
may

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Size
Ultimate height
4–8 metres
Time to ultimate height
10–20 years
Ultimate spread
4–8 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Cream White Green
Summer Green
Autumn Gold Yellow Red
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

North–facing or East–facing or South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Rosaceae
Native to the UK
Yes
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
Potentially harmful
Fruit are ornamental - not to be eaten. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling
Genus

Crataegus are deciduous trees and shrubs, usually with spiny branches, lobed or toothed leaves, and clusters of creamy-white flowers followed by red or black fruits. Some have fine autumn colour

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Europe N Africa SW Asia

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in any (not waterlogged) soil in full sun or part shade. Useful specimen trees for town, coastal or exposed gardens. Used extensively for wildlife hedging. See hawthorn cultivation for further advice

Propagation

Propagate by seed, or grafting in winter

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Coastal
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Wildflower meadow
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Hedging and screens
Pruning

Pruning group 1; or trim hedges after flowering or in autumn

Pests

May be susceptible to caterpillars, aphids and gall mites

Diseases

May be susceptible to fireblight, honey fungus, crown gall, silver leaf, Powdery mildews and leaf spots

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