En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Saturday - February 22, 2014

From: Williamsport, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Edible Plants, Shrubs
Title: Edibility of Washington Hawthorn berries from Williamsport PA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Please tell me if Washington Hawthorn berries and leaves are edible and if so, how to prepare them. Thank you!

ANSWER:

We are Mr. Smarty Plants, not Mr. Smarty Chef, and we are afraid we have no rolodex file of recipes for native edible plants. However, these two articles below have some suggestions on what you can eat and how to prepare it. The gist of this is that you can eat the leaves, just as a snack, and you can eat the berries but NOT the seeds. They are poisonous. If you cook the berries whole, you must very carefully strain the seeds out of the pulp. We understand you must also very carefully strain the berries out of the bushes because they have ferocious thorns guarding the territory. The result of that is that the birds (which can maneuver around the thorns) will likely beat you to the berries anyway.

Eat the Weeds Hawthorn Harvest

Section on Crataegus phaenopyrum (Washington hawthorn) from book Edible Wild Plants

In addition to these two articles, we are listing (at the very bottom of this page) a number of books on edible plants in the Mid-Atlantic states. These may be available at a local library; some of them have ordering information included.

 

From the Image Gallery


Washington hawthorn
Crataegus phaenopyrum

Washington hawthorn
Crataegus phaenopyrum

Washington hawthorn
Crataegus phaenopyrum

More Edible Plants Questions

Bitterness in cucumbers
June 24, 2006 - Bitter Cukes: We have a question about Burpless Burpee cucumbers. We've planted them with success several years in a row in our Austin backyard. This year, although the cucumbers look fine, they a...
view the full question and answer

Lists of edible plants in region of Pennsylvania for school project
September 12, 2006 - Please Help! I'm a grade four teacher in Philadelphia. My students and I are assigned a theme project that involves listing edible plants that grow in our region. Can you recommend a web site(s)...
view the full question and answer

How to remove tannins from acorns
September 21, 2008 - On your web page it says that the edible acorns (example: Chinkapin Oak) are edible if boiled, but the wikipedia article on "Acorn" says that "Boiling unleached acorns may actually cause the tannin...
view the full question and answer

A Bounty of Edibles for New Braunfels Texas
October 25, 2013 - I was hoping you could suggest a few plants that would serve several purposes. I live in New Braunfels, TX and would like to incorporate as many drought tolerant plants which would support birds, but...
view the full question and answer

Dog eats horse herb (Calyptocarpus vialis)
July 14, 2008 - This is not a question but in response to one of your answers. My dog eats horse herb all the time. He seems to use it to calm his stomach or throat from acid indigestion. He had an ulcer and would...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center