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Crataegus laevigata

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© RHS 2003

Characteristics

Plant type

Tree

Habit

Bushy

Origin

Native to the UK

Toxicity

Fruit may cause mild stomach upset if ingested

Resilience

Hardiness

H6 (hardy - very cold winter)

Colour

Flower

Cream in Spring

Foliage

Green in Autumn, Spring and Summer

Fruit

Dark Red in Autumn

Size

Ultimate height

4-8 metres

Ultimate spread

4-8 metres

Time to ultimate height

20-50 years


Preferred common name

Midland hawthorn

Family

Rosaceae


Crataegus are deciduous trees and shrubs, usually with spiny branches, lobed or toothed leaves, and clusters of creamy-white flowers followed by red or black fruits. Some have fine autumn colour

C. laevigata is a small thorny deciduous tree with glossy, pinnately lobed leaves, and corymbs of creamy-white flowers in late spring, followed by red fruit in early autumn

Other common names

  • albespyne
  • bird eagles
  • English hawthorn
  • may
  • quickset thorn
  • quickthorn
  • whitethorn

Synonym(s)

  • Crataegus oxyacantha misapplied
  • Crataegus oxyacanthoides

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun
  • Part shade

Aspect

  • South-facing, North-facing, West-facing or East-facing
  • Exposed or Sheltered

Cultivation

Useful specimen trees for town, coastal or exposed gardens. Can be used for hedging

Soil

  • Well-drained or Moist but well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Chalk, Clay, Sand or Loam

Propagation

Propagate by seed

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Cottage/Informal Garden, Hedging/Screens, Wildflower meadow or Wildlife Gardens


How to care

Pruning

Pruning group 1

Pests

Prone to caterpillars, gall mites and aphids

Diseases

May be affected by leaf spots and fireblight