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Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Crataegus crus-galli L.
Cockspur hawthorn, Cockspur thorn, Newcastle hawthorn, Newcastle thorn
Synonym(s): Crataegus acutifolia, Crataegus acutifolia var. insignis, Crataegus algens, Crataegus barrettiana, Crataegus bushii, Crataegus canbyi, Crataegus cherokeensis, Crataegus cocksii, Crataegus crus-galli var. barrettiana, Crataegus crus-galli var. bellica, Crataegus crus-galli var. capillata, Crataegus crus-galli var. exigua, Crataegus crus-galli var. leptophylla, Crataegus crus-galli var. macra, Crataegus crus-galli var. oblongata, Crataegus crus-galli var. pachyphylla, Crataegus crus-galli var. pyracanthifolia, Crataegus danielsii, Crataegus denaria, Crataegus fecunda, Crataegus fontanesiana, Crataegus hannibalensis, Crataegus mohrii, Crataegus operta, Crataegus palliata, Crataegus palmeri, Crataegus permixta, Crataegus pyracanthoides, Crataegus regalis, Crataegus regalis var. paradoxa, Crataegus sabineana, Crataegus schizophylla, Crataegus signata, Crataegus subpilosa, Crataegus tantula, Crataegus tenax, Crataegus triumphalis, Crataegus uniqua, Crataegus vallicola
USDA Symbol: crcr2
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
Cock-spur hawthorn is a small, globular, deciduous tree with a short trunk; exfoliating bark; horizontal, thorny branches which sweep the ground; and thick, glossy foliage which turns bright orange or red in fall. Profuse clusters of white flowers are followed by small, red apples, persistent until January. Small, spiny, thicket-forming tree with short, stout trunk and broad, dense crown of spreading and horizontal branches; hairless throughout. The tree grows 20-35 ft. tall with an equal spread.
The common and Latin species names both describe the numerous and extremely long spines, which are used locally as pins. The long spines and shiny dark green spoon-shaped leaves make this one of the most easily recognized hawthorns. Common and widespread, it has been planted for ornament and as a hedge since colonial times.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf:
Green Autumn Foliage:
Red Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: May , Jun
, WV Canada: ON
, SK Native Distribution: VT
& adjacent Canada to SC,
w. to s. WI,
& e. TX Native Habitat:
Fence rows, Hillsides, Slopes, Thickets
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Low Light Requirement:
Sun , Part Shade , Shade Soil Moisture:
Dry , Moist Soil pH:
Acidic (pH<6.8) CaCO3 Tolerance:
High Soil Description:
Variable, preferring moist, well-drained soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay. Conditions Comments:
The low, densely set branches make it difficult to grow grasses under this tree. The tree
is susceptible to fire blight, several species of rust, and insect damage, but is tolerant of city pollution. Prune in winter or early spring. This tree
produces some of the longest thorns of any hawthorn, but a thornless variety, var. inermis, is available.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Blooms ornamental, Attractive
Use Wildlife: Cover,Nesting material, Fruit-birds, Fruit-mammals.
Warning: Plant has thorns or prickles.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds , Butterflies
Larval Host: Striped hairstreak, Banded hairstreak, Soapberry hairstreak, Kings hairstreak, Gray hairstreak.
PropagationSeed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Dry seed should be immersed in acid for 2-3 hours then warm stratified at 70-77 degrees for 120 days followed by 135 days at 41 degrees.
Commercially Avail: yes
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
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
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Mt. Cuba Center
- Hockessin, DE
Record Last Modified: 2012-10-20
Research By: TWC Staff