Common Hawthorn Crataegus monogyna

In May, our hedgerows burst into life as Common Hawthorn erupts with masses of creamy-white blossom, colouring the landscape and giving this thorny shrub its other name of 'May-tree'. During the autumn and winter, red fruits known as 'haws' appear. Common Hawthorn is a rich habitat for all kinds of wildlife from Hawthorn Shield Bugs and Yellowhammers that feed on the haws, to Wood Mice and Slow Worms that shelter in the thorny thickets.

Behaviour

Common Hawthorn has shiny leaves, divided into three to seven pairs of lobes, and five-petalled, sweet-smelling flowers. It can be distinguished from the similar Midland Hawthorn by its more deeply lobed leaves and the fact that it only has a single seed in each fruit.

Size

Height: up to 15m

Status

Common.

Distribution

Widespread.

When to see

January – December

Facts

Common Hawthorn is also known as 'May Thorn', 'May Blossom' and 'Quick Thorn' and features in many traditional May-time celebrations; for example, the flowers were used to make garlands for May Day.

Common name

Common Hawthorn

Species name

Crataegus monogyna

When to see in Scotland

January – December

Subscribe to our e-newsletter to keep up to date with the Scottish Wildlife Trust 

Follow by Email
Google+
https://scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/species/common-hawthorn
Instagram
Back to top