Landowner Fact Sheets

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hawthorn Crataegus spp. play

Hawthorn is a small, thorny tree, attractive in flower, and valuable to wildlife for its fruit. Hawthorn as a genus (Crataegus) is comprised of many species, and not all of those species growing in North America are native to this continent.

range map Click to see more images. fall color

Hawthorn is not typically regenerated.

Hawthorn is typical of pasture land, but can be found on a very wide variety of soils.


Generally very dense shrubs or small trees up to 25 feet.

Timber Value
Hawthorn is used for firewood.

Wildlife Value
The fruits are eaten by birds and the occasional curious squirrel.
Attracts a variety of birds

Insects and Diseases

Fun Facts
The Crataegus genus is very diverse and very confusing, as hybridization is common. The USDA Plants Database list 216 species of hawthorn found in North America.

Latin Meaning
Crataegus: Greek "kratos" (strength - for the wood) / spp.: Greek "kratos" (strength - for the wood)

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Landowner Factsheets © 2004 Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved. Text, images, and programming by: Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Dr. John R. Seiler, John A. Peterson, Edward C. Jensen, Guy Phillips, or Andrew S. Meeks.