En EspaÑol

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

Need recommendations for privacy screen in Richmond, VA
February 27, 2013 - Hello, I read through the previous posts on privacy screen plantings in the Mid Atlantic region. There was a lot of great information, but I has a specific question that was not answered. I would li...
view the full question and answer

Is Sabal minor juglone tolerant?
October 13, 2014 - Is Sabal minor or any other small and shade tolerant palm juglone tolerant? I’d like to plant one in an area near a pecan tree but I am not sure if they will play well together.
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing shrub or tree to block dust from dirt road
March 15, 2009 - I live on a dirt road in Northeast Kansas. Could you recommend a fast growing, low maintenance shrub/bush or small tree that will form a barrier to block the dust from the dirt road? It will be plante...
view the full question and answer

Plants for pool area in Florida
May 09, 2008 - My husband and I have a pool with 4 planters and are looking for plants that we can put into our screened in pool area. We live in Central Florida and looking for ideas of plants that are slow growin...
view the full question and answer

Trees and shrubs in Wisconsin
July 30, 2009 - I live in Hudson, WI, just across the border from Minn/St Paul and would like to create a privacy screen between my front yard and my neighbors yard. Right now it's full sun, but I want to plant a c...
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