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Crataegus opaca (Mayhaw)
Cox, Paul

Crataegus opaca

Crataegus opaca Hook. & Arn.

Mayhaw, Western Mayhaw, May Hawthorn, Riverflat Hawthorn, Applehaw, May Haw

Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Synonym(s): Crataegus nudiflora

USDA Symbol: crop

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Small tree with relatively tall trunk and narrow, rounded crown; or a large shrub. Riverflat Hawthorn or May Haw is a small tree or shrub, to 30 ft., with spiny branches and oval to oblong, dark-green leaves. Clusters of showy pink or white flowers appear before and with the leaves. Large, green to reddish fruit ripens from May to June.

The large, edible fruit is made into preserves and jellies.


From the Image Gallery

9 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Fruit Type: Pome
Size Notes: Up to about 30 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar


USA: AL , AR , FL , LA , MS , TX
Native Habitat: Low, wet woods; creek and river bottoms.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
Soil Description: Wet, rich soils.
Conditions Comments: Used as an ornamental or hedge in poorly drained, shady places. Fruit makes a delicious preserve.

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

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


Description: Stratified seed will germinate.
Seed Collection: Fruits may be hand-picked or shaken from the plant. Clean seeds from the pulp to avoid mold and fermentation. Air-dry before storing. Store in sealed, refrigerated containers.
Seed Treatment: 6-8 weeks of moist chilling improves germination.

National Wetland Indicator Status

Status: OBL OBL
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:

Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS


Bibref 298 - Field Guide to Texas Trees (1999) Simpson, B.J.
Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 57 - Atlas of Florida Plants (2020) Institute for Systematic Botany
Webref 3 - Flora of North America (2014) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

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


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

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