Thorn Trees

HAWTHORN  Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)

Hawthorn is a deciduous tree native in the UK and across Europe. This species is commonly found growing in hedgerows, woodland and scrub. It will grow in most soils, but flowers and fruits best in full sun. It often hybridises with the UK’s other native Hawthorn, Midland Hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata). Both species are similar and can be hard to tell apart. [Woodland Trust]

The fruit of Hawthorn, called haws, are edible raw but are commonly made into jellies, jams, and syrups, used to make wine, or to add flavour to brandy. Botanically they are pomes, but they look similar to berries. A haw is small and oblong, similar in size and shape to a small olive or grape, and red when ripe. Haws develop in groups of 2-3 along smaller branches. They are pulpy and delicate in taste. In this species they have only one seed, but in other species of Hawthorn there may be up to 5 seeds. Petals are also edible, as are the leaves, which if picked in spring when still young are tender enough to be used in salads. [Wikipedia]