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Crataegus phaenopyrum (L. f.) Medik.
Washington hawthorn, Washington-thorn
Synonym(s): Crataegus cordata, Crataegus populifolia, Crataegus youngii
USDA Symbol: CRPH
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (I)
This is a dense, round-headed tree, to 30 ft., with slender thorns up to 3 in. long. Broadly triangular, deciduous leaves turn yellow to orange or scarlet in fall. Short trunk and regular, rounded crown of upright branches, abundant small flowers in spring, many small, round, red fruits, and brilliant autumn foliage; hairless throughout. Clusters of white, apple-like blossoms precede bright-red berries which persist into winter. Trunk bark is silvery-gray and scaly; twigs are a flaky, red-brown. There is a strong horizontal branching habit.
One of the showiest and most desirable hawthorns for planting. In the early 19th century, it was introduced into Pennsylvania from Washington, D.C., as a hedge plant and is thus called Washington-thorn. The Latin species name refers to the pearlike foliage.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Leaf:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jun
, WV Native Distribution:
w. to s.e. MO Native Habitat:
Open woods; streambanks; open, rocky areas
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Medium Light Requirement:
Sun Soil Moisture:
Moist Soil pH:
Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2) CaCO3 Tolerance:
Low Soil Description:
Moist soils. Conditions Comments:
Although susceptible to fire blight, several species of rust, and insect damage, this is one of the most tolerant and pest-free hawthorns. Thorns are dangerous; do not use this tree
where small children play.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Provides favored food, cover and nesting habitat for birds.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Propagate using stratified seed. Seed Collection:
Remove seeds from fruit
before treatment. Seeds lose viability if stored for more than one year. Seed Treatment:
Washington hawthorne seeds may have a double dormancy requiring 4 months warm, followed by 4 months cool stratification. Some authorities say a single period of moist chilling is sufficient for germination. Commercially Avail:
Mr. Smarty Plants says
October 21, 2009
Hi...Can you please identfy the tall, evergreen shrub with purple plum-colored foliage that I have noticed in winter locally?...Hope so, need he color! THX
view the full question and answer
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Suppliers Directory
According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
American Native Nursery
- Quakertown, PA
Record Last Modified: 2012-04-12
Research By: TWC Staff