Common Hawthorn, Crataegus monogyna

Identification Features

  • Bark: Grey-brown, sometimes with a hint of orange. Starting smooth in young trees, becoming scaly and heavily fissured with vertical grooves, which can be spiralled around trunk. Can look a bit shaggy. 
  • Twigs: Purple-red, hairless, fine, stiff. Side-shoots often terminate with a sharp spine.
  • Buds: Very small (2-2.5mm), egg-shaped, pointed with brown scales

Description/General Character:
Hedgerow shrub or small tree. Can be multi-stemmed or with single trunk. Spreading in nature and very twiggy with densely packed branches and many sharp spines on branches, twigs and trunks (not just bud-bearing side-shoots).

Throughout Europe to western Asia (Afghanistan).

Woods and hedgerows, heaths and reclaimed waste ground. Widely planted as a stock fence. An abundant species. Particularly likes chalk/limestone.

Other Observations:
Hybridises readily with other Crataegus species.

Author: Paul

Paul has had an interest in the outdoors since he was a young kid. Walking, tracking and exploring the wilderness around him, from disused overgrown railway lines to the vast wilderness of the UK national parks. Over the last few years Paul has honed his skills into specific areas of bushcraft and survival. He is an expert in map reading, shelter building and knots, traps and fishing.


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