Crushed Hawthorn Berries – Common hawthorn grows as an erect shrub or small tree and its branches are covered with spines It is common throughout the British Isles and grows in well-drained soils where it often forms dense thickets (see Online Atlas of British and Irish Flora for distribution map). Unlike blackthorn, with which it often grows, hawthorn flowers only after its leaves emerge, which is usually in May. By then blackthorns have finished flowering and their leaves are beginning to emerge (see separate entry on blackthorn). Common hawthorn leaves are very small and deeply lobed – quite different from the simple oval leaves of blackthorn.
Hawthorn fruits are abundant and the branches bear small red berries often 6-12 mm long known as ‘haws’. It produces fruit consistently year after year, with no ‘off year’, and when they ripen in mid- to mid-August they are red and shiny, but as the summer progresses they become pale and creamy. Common hawthorn fruits have a large, thick-walled stone and a slightly fleshy layer, which is sweet but ‘hard’ (see entry in the Plants for the Future [PFAF] database).
Crushed Hawthorn Berries
The fruits should be harvested when they are a bright red color By mid-October the berries on most hawthorns have turned a deep maroon and some are turning black In this condition, they are usually dry and tasteless and have lost the pectin that makes them useful as a binder for making jellies, jams and fruit leathers. There is no cost to collect berries in this state
Magical Hawthorn Mulled Apple Cider & Gathering To Heal
Despite the ‘fluffiness’ (ie, dry/powdery texture) of the fruits, due to their high pectin content, if they are squashed between the hands, the crushed flesh becomes hard and gelatinous within minutes. Crushed fruit should be immediately mixed with some water to make fruit leather, followed by scraping (or forcing) the freshly crushed fruit with a spoon (ideally 4 mm mesh) to remove stones and stems. Then there should be shelled pulses too Spread out on a sheet of greaseproof paper or, alternatively, leave in a bowl to harden and slice before allowing to dry. The combination of sloe and hawthorn fruit leather is even more flavorful
Common hawthorn flower buds have a pleasant, strong, nutty flavor, but tend to lose much of their flavor after the flowers open. They can be picked up and eaten as a side snack or added to salads Young leaves (i.e., freshly grown from leaf buds) can also be added to salads, soups, and omelets.
Midland hawthorn extends from the Kent coast through Essex, and into the Midlands and up the Yorkshire coast (see the online Atlas of the British and Irish Flora for a distribution map). Even in these restricted areas it is much less common than the common hawthorn, although sometimes abundant in shady forests It is possible to distinguish Midland Hawthorn by its leaves: they are rounder and wider than they are long, and the sinuses (indentations in the leaves) are sharply angled and reach less than halfway up the midrib. Another useful way to tell the two hawthorn species apart is to look closely at the styles: common hawthorn usually has just one style above the exposed carpel, while midland hawthorn usually has two styles.
Midland hawthorn fruits are slightly wider than long and flat-topped Lang (1987:96) notes that when Midland hawthorn shoots are plucked they soon begin to smell of putrid flesh, which he suggests: “fertility beliefs may be strongly associated with it” [vi] Bringing hawthorn flowers home is unlucky. was considered because it was thought likely to cause illness and death, and it may have been due to the association of the smell with the decaying flesh. Because the Midland Hawthorn flowers more than the common hawthorn it is a more reliable source of flowers for the May Day celebration.
How To Make Hawthorne Berry Tea
[NB: Many culinary uses of common hawthorn also apply to midland hawthorn; See separate entry in the Plants for the Future [PFAF] database
Hawthorn fruits, leaves, and flower buds have a wide range of medicinal properties, and are particularly well known for their efficacy in the treatment of heart disease (Mashore et al. 1998: 2228; Nabavi, et al. 2015; Tassel et al. 2010). More specifically, they have a remarkable ability to normalize heart function and seem to be able to stimulate or calm the heart depending on the recipient’s condition.
The medicinal properties of hawthorn have long been recognized and there are many historical records of its use among local communities in Europe. For example: in the Tras-os-Montes region of northern Portugal, it was used as a medicinal supplement for digestive, respiratory and cardiovascular ailments (Carvalho and Frazo-Moreira 2011); In the Upper Reka Valley in northwestern Macedonia, villagers used dried flowers to make tea to treat high blood pressure (Piaroni et al. 2013); And in Bologna, northern Italy, an infusion of the flowers was given to cure insomnia and heartburn (Sansenelli and Tassoni 2014). There are also records of it being eaten as a famine food during WWII in the Netherlands during the ‘Dutch Famine’ or ‘Hungry Winter’ of 1944-45.
Hawthorn has long been used as a hedging plant, and Lang explains that the name derives from the Middle English word ‘hawe’ (from Old English ‘haga’ [vii]), which refers to a place enclosed by a hedge. Hooke 1989: 123; Lang 1987). Hawthorn wood is very dense, which makes it useful for carpentry (ie, furniture, tools, etc.). In Montemitro, southern Italy, the thorny branches of hawthorn were traditionally used to dry figs (fruits were ‘strung’ on the branches and then left to dry; di Tizio et al. 2012).
Hawthorn Berry Attached To The Tree
There are many folkloric legends about hawthorn As Lang (1987) notes: “In the past ancient hawthorn trees were used as public meeting places, such as Hethel Old Thorn in Norfolk” [ix]; They were often considered sacred and, particularly in Ireland, it was believed that they were victims of the “little people” (see Hawthorne’s reference in Irish Archeology 2011) [x]. Lang also cites a legend concerning the Holy Thorn at Glastonbury in Somerset, which is believed to have originated from the staff of Joseph of Arimathea: “The story tells how Joseph arrived at Glastonbury in AD63 and when he threw his staff (itself an offset of Christ’s crown of thorns) on the ground, it immediately blossomed. Cracked (Long 1987: 98). Apparently there were three thorn trees on the Wirral Hill (/Wirral Hill, where Joseph of Arimathea kept his staff) and of these it was recorded in 1520: “The waterhorns also grow on the Wirral and are fresh as green leaves at Christmas. another in May” (Coming Walters 1909:121). The area where Westminster Abbey is located was called ‘Thorny Island’, so named after a stand of hawthorns that once grew there (Rhind 2013:283).
There are many ancient and historical records for the use of Crataegus fruit (see Kroll 1998:29). The discovery of chard fruit stones in Upper Paleolithic layers (Middle Magdalenian: c. 16,500–18,000 cal. BP) at the cave site of Cova de les Sendres in Alicante, Spain, represents the earliest evidence for deliberate collection. Hawthorne (Martinez Varia and Badal Garcia 2018). Twenty submerged hawthorn fruit stones (identified as Crataegus monogyna/laevigata) were found in a debris layer at the Late Mesolithic/Earthable site of Tybrind Vig on Fuen Island (Denmark; Kubiak-Martens 1998). And at the Danish site of (Under Logbet-2) located on the north coast of the island of ø and around the same time as Tybrind Vig, submerged fruit stones, unripe fruits and fruit pieces (Crataegus monogyna/lavigata) were recovered. (Mason 2004). Neolithic finds of hawthorn are common in Europe, for example, a fully charged Crataegus monogyna fruit and numerous whole and fragmented aquatic fruits and fruit stones were identified at the middle Neolithic site of Bercy on the banks of an old river bed of the Seine (Paris, France) (Diets 1992, 1996); The German Middle Neolithic site of Wangels LA505 (in Schleswig-Holstein) had several submerged fruit stones (Kroll 2007); and at ‘Le Grand Lac’ at Motte-aux-Magnins (attributed to the Middle Neolithic) at Clairvaux-les-Lacs (France) water-deposited fruit stones were found in occupational deposits (Lundström-Baudais 1989). There are many more records for waterspouts and charred remains of hawthorn at Neolithic sites, but the former is generally more prevalent in anthropogenic contexts than the latter (see College and Connolly 2014).
Crataegus monogyna is recorded in association with mountain and lake dwellings at the Iron Age Glastonbury Lake Village (Bulled and Gray 1911:626-627). Later, fruit stones are listed on medieval specimens from the shores of Phoenician Lake