The small and beautiful shrubs that everybody knows them under the name of Hawthorns originate from Europe, Asia and America, especially the northern regions of these continents. Commonly known as the Hawthorn, this flower bears also a botanical name of Crateagus, along with other names given by different folklores, names used only in those particular areas. Such names include the English Hawthorn, the Quick-Set and the White Thorn.
The Hawthorn genus belongs to the Rosaceae family and it is specific to temperate climates. This plant can reach up to 15 meters when having reached maturity and it usually blooms in early spring, or in the month of May. The small shrub produces small white flowers with uncomplicated structure comprised of 5 petals, similar to those of the Apple Blossom. The Hawthorn plants usually have rigid branches which tend to spread over a considerable length and they are known to produce fruit, often called pomes, or haws.
Given the fact that the Hawthorn can reach up certain dimensions, it’s very common for animals or birds to search for shelter in it against bad weather. Also, the Hawthorn can provide not only shelter, but also food for the animals, as the fruit produced by this small tree are edible. Also, the plant provides nutrition for bees and all sorts of insects through its beautiful white flowers which appear in early spring.
The taxonomy of this genus is yet to be established, as botanists admit the fact that the Hawthorn bears under its classification numerous species, but also that some of the species included under this genus are misplaced. Nowadays, botanists have reached a consensus into considering almost 200 species as part of the Hawthorn genus.
The Hawthorn has become a very popular plant due to its amazing qualities as substituting for hedges and ornamental plants. Gardeners have recurred to planting this genus especially to give the idea of abundance in their gardens, or to use it as bordering plant in residential area, national parks or other special venues.
The decorative purpose is not the sole purpose of the Hawthorn, as the plant is known to have medicinal properties. The Hawthorn is used in the treatment of cardiac insufficiency through the substances extracted from its succulent leaves and from its flowers. Other affections of the body include high blood pressure, cholesterol or heart diseases, all illnesses proved to alleviate their gravity by administrating Hawthorn-based treatments.
Another important significance of the Hawthorn is the folkloric one, where the Hawthorn either marks the month of May in England, or in Gaelic culture it marks the entrance to the otherworld. This strong symbolism surrounding the Hawthorn plant can only contribute to its notoriety, as the flower has become more and more cultivated and hybridized, not to mention is amazing international commercial distribution in florists.
Hawthorn – Crateagus Flower Pictures Gallery