Hawthorn Berries Winter – Information may be out of date The information on this page was originally published on December 19, 2007. It may not be out of date, but please check our site for up-to-date information. If you plan to cite or reference this information in a publication, please check with the expert or author before proceeding.
Sometimes we take plants for granted and forget the special properties they bring to the landscape. An example is parsley leaf hawthorn.
Hawthorn Berries Winter
My office is at Hinds Community College, and the campus here is a virtual arboretum. Every tree and shrub looks like a part of the plan, and the winter color of the fruit-bearing plants was a must in the project.
Red Hawthorn Berries Hang On A Branch In Winter Covered With Snow. Food And Vitamins For Birds In Winter. Stock Image
For over 12 years, I have admired the parsley-leafed hawthorns on campus. Botanically, they are Crataegus marshallii, at least according to most references and US Department of Agriculture websites. To keep us on our toes, it has been renamed Crataegus apifolia.
The name suggests that the leaves look like parsley – not the curly version, but the regular version. In spring, this member of the rose family delivers a blanket of snow-white flowers with long, delicate-looking stamens covered in pink anthers.
Let me just say, they are so beautiful, this springtime. I challenge you to find a small tree with more red berries than parsley-leafed hawthorns in fall and winter. They are carried by thousands of people and the tree can be seen from far away as the sun shows its brilliant color.
Birds will eat the berries, but I also noticed that each tree has overhead branches that are perfect for birds looking to nest. It’s like a one-stop shop for poultry – a home and grocery store.
Bright Red Hawthorn Berries Covered With White Snow On A Snowy Village Street On A Frosty Winter Day Stock Photo
Parsley-leaved hawthorn is native from Texas to Florida and as far north as Illinois, Kentucky, and Virginia, with most references indicating it is hardy in zones 4 or 5-9.
Trees have a good structure, usually with two or three trunks, which are divided into several tiers. Older trees have interesting bark. They can get up to 25 feet tall and 25 feet wide, but most I see are closer to 15 feet tall and not that wide.
It is found in a variety of soils, from acidic to slightly alkaline and well-drained to slightly boggy. If you can find a nursery that specializes in natives, choose a planting site with part sun or morning sun and afternoon shade and fertile, well-drained soil. This will provide you with a picture-worthy pattern.
Also, once their water needs are established, they are considered in the medium-low range. This is good considering the rare annual rainfall.
Foraging Winter Berries
They can certainly stand alone, and a location set against a backdrop of evergreens makes for an even better show. This is one of those situations where the opposite of red is green.
Over the years I have talked about great plants around the world. But this time, we’ll just drive by and take it for granted. It’s time to introduce some of these natives back into our landscapes, and parsley-leaved hawthorn should definitely be considered.