Crataegus laevigata (C. oxyacantha). HAWTHORN. Europe, North Africa
ROSACEAE (Rose family)

These small deciduous, spiny trees (also known as C. oxyacantha) were popular with campus residents years ago and may be spotted in spring by their covering of flowers, generally pink and double. They are rather thorny and picking up the prunings can be a hazard. The round-lobed leaves are finely toothed, and the ¼ -inch or larger red fruits contain two stones. Several horticultural varieties are available. A pleasant row of 10 neat pollards can be seen toward the southeast end of Salvatierra Street opposite a row of 10 great magnolias, and there is one on Lomita Mall at the southeast corner of Varian Physics. The fruits contain little edible meat, but enough to have been added to flour in Europe in World War II. As with rose hips, haws can be used for making jellies. In English, the earlier meaning of the word haw was hedge, or the area enclosed by a hedge. The related word in Dutch occurs in Den Haag (The Hague). The distinguishing feature that conveniently separates the three hawthorns is the number of stones.

Illustration: McMinn, Howard E. and Evelyn Maino. 1951. An illustrated manual of Pacific coast trees; with lists of trees recommended for various uses on the Pacific coast by H. W. Shepherd. 2d ed. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press.

Illustrations (links open new windows): habit |


Name derivation, genus | species: The Gk name from kratos (strength) referring to the hard wood | smooth (the leaves)

Related material: Canopy Trees for Palo Alto Tree Library

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