Hawthorns are a lovely ornamental tree with a smaller growth habit that makes them suitable for smaller yards. A member of the genus Crataegus in the Rose family, the hawthorn maxes out around 20 feet tall and 15 feet wide. They have dark green, glossy, serrated leaves, and stunning pink or white double flowers in the spring that develop into plump orange/red berry-like fruit. As the name suggests, these trees also have thorns, which makes them suitable for hedgerows to deter animal predation. These trees prefer full sun and require well-drained soil, and benefit from annual pruning after the spring blooms have died off. 

In herbal medicine, the leaves, berries, and flowers are used to treat heart disorders. While not particularly delicious, the berries have been used as a food source by Indigenous people in lean times, and are a favorite of many species of birds. While not particularly pleasant for fresh eating, the berries can be used to make delicious jams or jellies. 

Hawthorn

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