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Trees of Iowa: An Interactive Key

Hawthorn
(Crataegus sp.)


Leaves  are alternate, simple, with thorns or spines.

Hawthorn Form

There are several hundred species of haws growing in the United States.  Five are fairly common to Iowa:  cockspur, hawthorn, pearhaw, punctate haw, and red haw.  It is extremely difficult to distinguishbetween the species.

Hawthorn TwigHawthorn Flowers
Hardiness: zones 4 through 7

Growth Rate:
slow to medium

Mature Shape:
small tree with wide, spreading branches and a round crown.

Height:
Varies with species, most maturing between 10 to 30 feet tall.

Width:
Varies with species, usually nearly equal to height.

Site Requirements:
Hawthorns should be planted in full sun to part shade with moist, well-drained soils.

Flowering Dates: April - June

Seed Dispersal Dates: Fall - Winter

Seed Bearing Age:

Seed Bearing Frequency:

Seed Stratification: Prechill for 4-6 months at 36F to 50F

Found generally throughout Iowa except in the northwest section, this short tree, with thin, erect branching and a narrow, open crown, prefers the banks of streams and open hillsides.

Hawthorn FlowersHawthorn Leaves

The small leaves are narrowed or tapered at the base. The tips are round pointed and coarsely toothed, and the base is nearly smooth.  The slender twigs are at first orange-green and smooth, later becoming bright chestnut brown and shiny.  The older branches are ashy or reddish gray, with slightly curved spines of chestnut brown color, 3/4 to 1-1/2 inches long.

Hawthorn FruitHawthorn Fruit

The fruit occurs in few-fruited, small drooping clusters.  It is darkred or rusty orange in color with occasional dark dots and two or three seeds.  On the trunk the bark is gray to dark gray-brown and breaks into narrow, flatridges.

 

Click on a thumbnail image below to view a larger picture.
Hawthorn Flowers Hawthorn Fruit Hawthorn Fruit Hawthorn Flowers Hawthorn Form Hawthorn Fruit Hawthorn Leaves Hawthorn Twigs