Scientific Classifications explained
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UK Nature > Trees > Crataegus monogyna
Scientific Name: Crataegus monogyna
Common Name: Hawthorn
Crataegus monogyna, more commonly known as Hawthorn, is named after the month in which it blooms and a sign that spring is turning to summer. The pale green leaves of this hedgerow staple are often the first to appear in spring, with an explosion of pretty pale-pink blossom in May. It simply teems with wildlife from bugs to birds.
Mature trees can reach a height of 15m and are characterised by their dense, thorny habit, though they can grow as a small tree with a single stem. The bark is brown-grey, knotted and fissured, and twigs are slender and brown and covered in thorns.
It has deeply lobed leaves, spiny twigs and haws (berries) and can be identified in winter by the spines which emerge from the same point as the buds; distinguishing them from Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) which has buds on the spines in winter.
The leaves are around 6cm in length and comprised of toothed lobes, which cut at least halfway to the middle or 'mid-rib'. They turn yellow before falling in autumn. Hawthorns are hermaphrodite, meaning both male and female reproductive parts are contained within each flower. Flowers are highly scented, white or occasionally pink with five petals, and grow in flat-topped clusters. Once pollinated by insects, the flowers develop into deep-red fruits known as 'haws'.
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