Thursday, October 25, 2018

Fleshy Hawthorn - Crataegus succulenta

The Fleshy Hawthorn - Crataegus succulenta, is a deciduous thicket forming shrub or small tree that reaches heights of only 12-20 feet tall.  Generally growing in an erect or clumping habit with single or multiple trunks and compound thorns, it is native to North American and can be found growing along streams, rivers, pastures, open woodlands, mountain slopes, ridges from British Columbia and Quebec in the North on South through Iowa, Missouri, Ohio, Arkansas, the Appalachians, Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. 

Image Citation: Paul Wray, Iowa State University,

Considered to be the most widespread Hawthorn in all of North America, the Fleshy Hawthorn is best recognized by the combination of narrowly winged, non-glandular petiole, thick doubly toothed leaves, and long stout thorns.  The leaves of the Fleshy Hawthorn are alternate, simply shaped, thick and firm to the touch, obovate, ovate or broadly elliptic with distinct margins and shallow lobes.  The upper leaf surface is lustrous and hairless when mature, the lower surface is paler in color and more dull in finish.  The flower of the Fleshy Hawthorn is 1.2 - 1.7 cm in diameter with white circular petals, 20 stamens and red-pink anthers.  Flowering occurs in late Spring to early Summer annually.  The fruit is in the form of a Pome, bright red in color and lustrous, ranging in size from 6-12 mm in diameter, maturing in the Fall.  

Image Citation: Paul Wray, Iowa State University,

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