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Crataegus douglasii (Black hawthorn)
Glase, Terry

Crataegus douglasii

Crataegus douglasii Lindl.

Black Hawthorn

Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Synonym(s): Crataegus columbiana, Crataegus douglasii var. douglasii

USDA Symbol: crdo2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N)

A thorny, much-branched shrub or small tree from 6-30 ft. in height. Small tree with compact, rounded crown of stout, spreading branches; often a thicket-forming shrub. Twigs are reddish and bear thick, oval, toothed leaves. White flowers occur in dense, terminal clusters and are followed by blue-black berries.

This species is a handsome ornamental with showy white flowers, glossy foliage, and odd, shiny black fruits. It is named for its discoverer, David Douglas (1798-1834), the Scottish botanical explorer. Cattle and sheep browse the foliage; pheasants, partridges, quail, and other birds consume the berries. The most widespread western member of its genus, Black Hawthorn is also the only species north to southeastern Alaska.


From the Image Gallery

3 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Fruit Type: Pome
Size Notes: Up to about 30 feet tall.
Leaf: Green
Autumn Foliage: yes
Fruit: Black, Purple

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun


USA: AK , CA , ID , MI , MN , MT , ND , NV , OR , SD , UT , WA , WI , WY
Canada: AB , BC , ON , SK
Native Distribution: AK to n. CA; widely distributed in the Rockies; also occuring in s.w. Ont., n. MI & MN
Native Habitat: Open woods; rocky stream banks; meadows

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Drought Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Moist soils.


Use Wildlife: Only a few birds like the fruit of Crataegus and, consequently, they remain effective for a long time.
Warning: Plant has thorns or prickles.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds , Butterflies
Larval Host: Gray Hairstreak, Mourning Cloak, and Azure Butterflies.

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Gray Hairstreak
(Strymon melinus)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA
Mourning Cloak
(Nymphalis antiopa)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA


Description: Stored/treated seed will germinate. For fresh, dried fruit, soak in water 2-3 days to soften, remove pulp and sow immediately. This gives fair results.
Seed Treatment: 6-8 weeks of moist chilling improves germination of stored seed. Scarification may also be necessary.

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

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 Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR


Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 3 - Flora of North America (2014) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Crataegus douglasii in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Crataegus douglasii in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Crataegus douglasii


Record Modified: 2023-05-09
Research By: TWC Staff

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