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 Shrubs Questions

Source for a soapberry in Pittsburgh PA
June 22, 2013 - Flower box Where can I buy a soapberry tree in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania?
view the full question and answer

Small native evergreen shrubs for North Carolina
May 17, 2007 - I live in zone 7 and need miniature shrub to go in flower bed situated in full sun. I love gardenias but afraid the intensity of the sun might be too much.
view the full question and answer

Plants that will grow on the Connecticut coast
June 08, 2010 - I live on the coast in Connecticut and have a hard time growing plants here. I live about 1/2 mile from the beach and find that my soil is very rocky. The only plants that have done well in my yard ...
view the full question and answer

Questions about care and pruning of Mexican Plum and Mountain Laurel in Austin, TX.
January 24, 2012 - I have a couple of questions regarding tree care and pruning. I have a Mexican Plum (Prunus mexicana), about 10 years old or so. I would like to prune it. Is it ok to prune now in late wi...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen plant to cover parents' graves in Louisiana
June 30, 2013 - We want to plant ground cover on our parents graves in Plain Dealing Cemetery in north Bossier Parish LA. Soil is red clay/dirt. Want native plant, slow growing, short not tall plant, that might sta...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center