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Crataegus monogyna - Jacq.                
                 
Common Name Hawthorn, Oneseed hawthorn
Family Rosaceae
Synonyms
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Woods, hedges, thickets etc, on most soils except wet peat and poor acid sands[9, 17].
Range Europe, including Britain, absent from Iceland, south and west the the Mediterranean and Afghanistan
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Wet Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of shrub
Crataegus monogyna is a deciduous Shrub growing to 6 m (19ft) by 6 m (19ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from Sep to November. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Midges.It is noted for attracting wildlife.


USDA hardiness zone : 4-8


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid and very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.
It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.

Crataegus monogyna Hawthorn,  Oneseed hawthorn


Crataegus monogyna Hawthorn,  Oneseed hawthorn
   
Habitats       
Woodland Garden Secondary; Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Hedge;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Flowers;  Fruit;  Leaves.
Edible Uses: Coffee;  Tea.

Fruit - raw or cooked[2, 12]. Not very appetizing raw[9, K], it is normally used for making jams and preserves[9, 183]. The fruit can be dried, ground, mixed with flour and used for making bread etc[46]. The fruit is about 1cm in diameter[200]. There are up to five fairly large seeds in the centre of the fruit, these often stick together and so the effect is of eating a cherry-like fruit with a single seed[K]. Young shoots - raw[5, 177]. A pleasant nutty flavour[144], they are a good addition to the salad bowl[183]. A tea is made from the dried leaves[21, 46, 177, 183], it is a china tea substitute. The roasted seeds are a coffee substitute[12, 21, 46, 177]. The flowers are used in syrups and sweet puddings[183].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antispasmodic;  Astringent;  Cardiotonic;  Diuretic;  Hypotensive;  Sedative;  Tonic;  Vasodilator.

Hawthorn is an extremely valuable medicinal herb. It is used mainly for treating disorders of the heart and circulation system, especially angina[254]. Western herbalists consider it a 'food for the heart', it increases the blood flow to the heart muscles and restores normal heart beat[254]. This effect is brought about by the presence of bioflavonoids in the fruit, these bioflavonoids are also strongly antioxidant, helping to prevent or reduce degeneration of the blood vessels[254]. The fruit is antispasmodic, cardiac, diuretic, sedative, tonic and vasodilator[4, 9, 21, 46, 165]. Both the fruits and flowers of hawthorns are well-known in herbal folk medicine as a heart tonic and modern research has borne out this use. The fruits and flowers have a hypotensive effect as well as acting as a direct and mild heart tonic[222]. They are especially indicated in the treatment of weak heart combined with high blood pressure[222], they are also used to treat a heart muscle weakened by age, for inflammation of the heart muscle, arteriosclerosis and for nervous heart problems[21]. Prolonged use is necessary for the treatment to be efficacious[222]. It is normally used either as a tea or a tincture[222]. Hawthorn is combined with ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) to enhance poor memory, working by improving the blood supply to the brain[254]. The bark is astringent and has been used in the treatment of malaria and other fevers[7]. The roots are said to stimulate the arteries of the heart[218].
Other Uses
Fuel;  Hedge;  Hedge;  Wood.

A good hedge plant, it is very tolerant of being cut and of neglect and is able to regenerate if cut back severely, it makes a good thorny stock-proof barrier[186] and resists very strong winds. It is often used in layered hedges[11, 29]. The cultivar 'Stricta' has made a very good hedge 3.5 metres tall in an exposed maritime position at Rosewarne in N. Cornwall[K]. Wood - very hard and tough, difficult to work. Used for tool handles etc. Valued in turning[7, 46, 61]. A good fuel, giving out a lot of heat[4].
Cultivation details                                         
A very easily grown plant, it prefers a well-drained moisture retentive loamy soil but is not at all fussy[11, 200]. Succeeds in all but the very poorest acid soils[186]. Once established, it succeeds in excessively moist soils and also tolerates drought[200]. It grows well on a chalk soil and also in heavy clay soils[200]. A position in full sun is best when plants are being grown for their fruit, they also succeed in semi-shade though fruit yields and quality will be lower in such a position[11, 200]. Most members of this genus succeed in exposed positions, they also tolerate atmospheric pollution[200]. A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to at least -18°c[202]. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus and with C. laevigata in the wild[186, 200]. There are many named forms selected for their ornamental value[200]. Seedling trees take from 5 - 8 years before they start bearing fruit, though grafted trees will often flower heavily in their third year[K]. The flowers have a foetid smell somewhat like decaying fish. This attracts midges which are the main means of fertilization. When freshly open, the flowers have more pleasant scent with balsamic undertones[245]. Seedlings should not be left in a seedbed for more than 2 years without being transplanted[11]. In heavier shade they quickly become drawn and leggy, eventually dying[186]. An important food plant for the caterpillars of many lepidoptera species[30], there are 149 insect species associated with this tree[24]. Plants are susceptible to fireblight[200].
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - this is best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame, some of the seed will germinate in the spring, though most will probably take another year. Stored seed can be very slow and erratic to germinate, it should be warm stratified for 3 months at 15°c and then cold stratified for another 3 months at 4°c[164]. It may still take another 18 months to germinate[78]. Scarifying the seed before stratifying it might reduce this time[80]. Fermenting the seed for a few days in its own pulp may also speed up the germination process[K]. Another possibility is to harvest the seed 'green' (as soon as the embryo has fully developed but before the seedcoat hardens) and sow it immediately in a cold frame. If timed well, it can germinate in the spring[80]. If you are only growing small quantities of plants, it is best to pot up the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in individual pots for their first year, planting them out in late spring into nursery beds or their final positions. When growing larger quantities, it might be best to sow them directly outdoors in a seedbed, but with protection from mice and other seed-eating creatures. Grow them on in the seedbed until large enough to plant out, but undercut the roots if they are to be left undisturbed for more than two years.
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
Jacq.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
1117200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[2]Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
[4]Grieve. A Modern Herbal.
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
[5]Mabey. R. Food for Free.
Edible wild plants found in Britain. Fairly comprehensive, very few pictures and rather optimistic on the desirability of some of the plants.
[7]Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants.
Covers plants growing in Europe. Also gives other interesting information on the plants. Good photographs.
[9]Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants.
Covers plants in Europe. a drawing of each plant, quite a bit of interesting information.
[11]Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
[12]Loewenfeld. C. and Back. P. Britain's Wild Larder.
A handy pocket guide.
[17]Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles.
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
[21]Lust. J. The Herb Book.
Lots of information tightly crammed into a fairly small book.
[24]Baines. C. Making a Wildlife Garden.
Fairly good with lots of ideas about creating wildlife areas in the garden.
[29]Shepherd. F.W. Hedges and Screens.
A small but informative booklet giving details of all the hedging plants being grown in the R.H.S. gardens at Wisley in Surrey.
[30]Carter D. Butterflies and Moths in Britain and Europe.
An excellent book on Lepidoptera, it also lists their favourite food plants.
[46]Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants.
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
[61]Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
[78]Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
[80]McMillan-Browse. P. Hardy Woody Plants from Seed.
Does not deal with many species but it is very comprehensive on those that it does cover. Not for casual reading.
[144]Cribb. A. B. and J. W. Wild Food in Australia.
A very good pocket guide.
[164]Bird. R. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 4.
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation. A good article on Yuccas, one on Sagebrush (Artemesia spp) and another on Chaerophyllum bulbosum.
[165]Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism.
An excellent small herbal.
[177]Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption.
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
[183]Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
[186]Beckett. G. and K. Planting Native Trees and Shrubs.
An excellent guide to native British trees and shrubs with lots of details about the plants.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[202]Davis. B. Climbers and Wall Shrubs.
Contains information on 2,000 species and cultivars, giving details of cultivation requirements. The text is terse but informative.
[218]Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
[222]Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America.
A concise book dealing with almost 500 species. A line drawing of each plant is included plus colour photographs of about 100 species. Very good as a field guide, it only gives brief details about the plants medicinal properties.
[245]Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World.
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.
[254]Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants
An excellent guide to over 500 of the more well known medicinal herbs from around the world.

Readers comment                                         
 
Elizabeth H.
Steve Hanson Wed Feb 1 2006
Thanks I found this information invaluable

Le Bois de Grammont Simple, Economical and Purposeful Living

Elizabeth H.
Sun Feb 11 2007
What is the Active Ingredient
Elizabeth H.
Ken Fern, Plants for a Future Sun Feb 11 2007
Perhaps the most important medicinal constituents of hawthorn are the bioflavonoids, particularly rutin and quercitin. These relax and dilate the arteries, especially the coronary arteries, thus increasing the flow of blood to the heart muscles and reducing the symptoms of angina. The bioflavonoids are also strongly antioxidant, helping to prevent or reduce degeneration of the blood vessels. Hawthorn also contains triterpenoid saponins. These are often strongly expectorant and may also aid in the absorption of nutrients. The fruits contain small quantities of cyanogenic glycosides. Whilst these are poisonous in large doses, in the small quantities found in the hawthorn fruit they have a helpful sedative and relaxant effect on the heart and muscles. In addition, the plant also contains tannins which coagulate proteins and are therefore valuable for staunching both internal and external bleeding. In addition, they dry up mucous membranes and are often used in the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery.
Elizabeth H.
Harry Starkweather Thu Feb 15 2007
Where else can Hawthorn be found? Can it be found in America?
Elizabeth H.
Ken Fern, Plants for a Future Thu Feb 15 2007
This species has a natural range that covers most of Europe and western Asia. It is not a native plant in America, though it has become naturalized in many areas there. Indeed, in California it has been declared an invasive plant and people are asked not to grow it there. There are a great many native N. American species of hawthorn - unlike this species many of the American species have quite large and very tasty fruits.
Elizabeth H.
Gregory Claeys Bouuaert Fri Aug 29 2008
I have one small notice/quetion. I have read in a some book(in french) that the name "Crataegus monogyna" refer to the fact that this species fruit has only one seed. It say the same in wikipedia (wich may or may not be a reference). If this is true maybe the next sentance should be removed : "There are up to five fairly large seeds in the centre of the fruit, these often stick together and so the effect is of eating a cherry-like fruit with a single seed[K]"
Elizabeth H.
edward Sun Jan 24 2010
I agree with Gregory, although I am itching to pull a haw apart next autumn and double check! But no, I am certain that there is a single seed in each Crataegus monogyna haw fruit. The haws are often carried in bunches of about five, but I don't think that that is the source of the confusion. There are many Crataegus species and the name Hawthorn gets around a lot: I don't know which particular species is causing the confusion, but there are plenty to choose from.

Ashridge Trees - Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna!) More about Hawthorn

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