Crataegus Phanaenopyrus

Washington Hawthorn; Washington Thorn

A picture of Crataegus Phanaenopyrus (The tree on the right)

Name: Crataegus Phaenopyrum

Other Common Names: Washington Hawthorn, Washington Thorn

Family: Rosaceae "The Rose family"


Height: 30' (9 m)

Diameter: 1' (0.3 m)

Leaf: The leaves of the Washington Hawthorn are usually broadly ovate, meaning that its broadest region is at the base.  They are simple leaves.  The leaves usually have three or five shallow, pointed lobes.  The leaves are coarsely toothed. Their color is tinged with red, becoming a shiny, dark green on top.  The bottom is paler.  In the Autumn, it turns scarlet and orange.  The leaves are smooth and sometimes sparsely hairy beneath when they are young.  They are 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 " (4-6 cm) long, and 1- 1 3/4" (2.5 - 4.5 cm) wide.

Flower: The flowers are usually 1/2 inch (1.2 cm) across.  They have 5 white pedals, 20 pale, yellow stamens, and 3-5 styles.  The flowers are in compact hairless clusters from early to midsummer.

Fruit: The fruit of the Washington Hawthorn is small and rounded.  It is 1/4 in (6 mm) in diameter and colored shiny red or scarlet.  The flowers also have 3-5 nutlets which are exposed at the end.  They mature in Autumn.

Branch: The twigs are shiny brown with slender spines.

Bark: The bark of the Washington Hawthorn is light red-brown to gray-brown, thin, scaly, and smooth

Thorns: The Washington Hawthorn has thorns which are smooth and tapering.  When they are mature, they are at least 1 inch in length.

Distribution: The native habitat of this tree is S. E. United States, from Virginia south to Florida, west to Arkansas, and north to Missouri.

Habitat: The Washington Hawthorn grows preferably in the moist soil of valleys and in woods and thickets.

Location: This Washington Hawthorn tree is located in Urbana, IL on Goodwin Ave, just north of  the Stoughton Apartment building (the exterior wall facing West).

Discussion: This was a favorite garden tree in the 18th century (I know why it isn't popular any more though, because our Washington Hawthorn stabbed me-- It hurt).


  This is a picture of a branch from our tree.

 These are the leaves from the tree.

 These are some Washington Hawthorn nutlets.

 This is a picture of the Washington Hawthorn bark.

 This is a picture of our Washington Hawthorn in early spring.

 This is a picture of our Washington Hawthorn in late spring.

Photography © 2003 Emily Floess, Ellen Rockett, and Lillian Soong.  University Laboratory High School


Coomes, Allen.  Trees. 1992. Dorling Kindersley Books.

Little, Elbert.  National Audobon Society Field Guide to North American Trees (Eastern Region). 1996.  Borzoi Books.

Watts, May.  Tree Finder.  1963. Nature Study Guild.