Hawthorn Crataegus spp.
Family: Rosaceae (Rose)
There are many species of Hawthorn in Ontario. They are very easy
to identify as a group, but differentiating between the species is
something that even the experts disagree on. In the winter, I am
usually content to call them all hawthorn. As their name suggest,
they all have thorns (though sometimes not many) and this is usually
the best distinction between them and other small trees. Unlike
the other thorny plants, Hawthorn thorns are long, slender and sharp
and often the thorns themselves will grow thorns. Honey Locust
also has similar thorns but its buds are different and it grows
into a much larger tree.
Typical Hawthorn buds and twig.
Another view of a Hawthorn twig. The buds are usually reddish as in this picture
Hawthorn thorns. Often the thorns will sprout other thorns
Another view of a thorn
Mature hawthorns, with thorns sprouting out the trunks.
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© 2008 Josh Sayers
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