Hawthorn Thorny Orange Berries – Harvesting hawthorn berries is new to me this year. They’re sweet and mild if you get them at just the right time, and for the past few years I’ve tried them too early in the fall. This year Washington Hawthorn was sweet and mild in late October. But by this time the lone-seeded hawthorn was starting to rot, so I’ll look for it in mid-October next year.
I owe some credit to Josh Fecteau’s recent hawthorn post, which inspired me to try hawthorn berries again. As Josh points out, there are many species of hawthorn, maybe 50 in New England. And across North America possibly a thousand species, according to George Symonds (from his wonderful book Tree Identification Book: A New Method for the Practical Identification and Recognition of Trees
Hawthorn Thorny Orange Berries
, my favorite guide to learning Tree ID). Fortunately, you don’t need to be able to identify specific species. You just have to know that it’s a hawthorn, because all hawthorns have edible berries. HOWEVER, like apple seeds, hawthorn seeds contain cyanide and should not be eaten. No panic; Just spit out the seeds.
Pyracantha Orange Berries (orange Glow)
Why bother with hawthorn? They are beautiful, interesting and tasty wild edibles with known health benefits. Some people use the berries to make hawthorn jelly, but I have yet to try that. Berries, leaves and flowers can be used to prepare a tea. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see how I make hawthorn berry extract.
I will describe two types here to illustrate the general characteristics. That should help you recognize a hawthorn when you see one, but i
If you are unsure if you have a hawthorn when foraging, please check with additional sources until you are sure before eating the berries.
This grows as a small tree or large shrub and bears clusters of white flowers in late spring. The berries turn red in September (here), but sweeten later. On October 31st they were sweet and maybe a little past peak. Each berry has 3-5 seeds.
Plant, Hawthorn, Berry Red, Autumn, Shiny, Hedge Plant, Bush, Red Leaves, Thorns, Nature, Close Up
The leaves are lobed and toothed as you can see in my photo above. Many other hawthorn species have similar leaves. The tree is heavily armed with long thorns up to 3 inches long. However, with proper care, you can easily harvest the berries, which tend to droop from the branch. It’s even easier later in the season when a lot of the leaves have fallen and the thorns are no longer covering it.
Also called common hawthorn, this is a European native that escaped cultivation and became naturalized in North America. It’s sometimes branded an invasive plant, but I don’t find it very often, and when I see it, there isn’t much of it in an area. It may be invasive in other parts of the country, but it doesn’t seem particularly aggressive here. Like the Washington hawthorn, the single-seeded hawthorn grows as a shrub or small tree and bears clusters of white flowers in late spring. The oval red berries ripen slightly earlier (than Washington hawthorn) in the fall and contain a single seed (hence the name). The serrated leaves are more deeply lobed than those of the Washington hawthorn, but the thorns are much smaller, only about 1/2 inch to 2.5 cm long.
Hawthorns are common in the undergrowth of the woods here in Massachusetts, but these are scrawny specimens that do not bear good fruit. It’s too shady in the forest. To find fruit-laden hawthorns, look in sunny spots, such as B. Bush fields and thickets, on pasture edges and along streams. They are often planted as ornamental plants. So if your friend has one and doesn’t mind you picking some berries, you’ll have an easy foraging experience.
This is my first experience with hawthorn berries and I use them to make an extract using the same process you would use to make vanilla extract. I hope to use hawthorn extract as a flavoring in cooking and baking. I filled a clean mason jar about 3/4 full with berries, covered them with 80% vodka and sealed the jar. I’m not sure how long it will take to extract enough flavor from the berries, so I’ll check daily. I know other extracts (like vanilla extract) take weeks, so I’m expecting this. Fruits from four different species of Crataegus (clockwise from top left: C. coccinea, C. punctata, C. ambigua, and C. douglasii)
Alys Fowler: The Best Trees For A Small Garden
Mayflower or bilberry is a group of several hundred species of shrubs and trees in the rose family.
Native of temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere in Europe, Asia, North Africa and North America. The name “hawthorn” was originally applied to the species native to Northern Europe, specifically the common hawthorn C. monogyna, and the unaltered name is commonly used in Britain and Ireland. The name is now also applied to the tire gus and the related Asiatic gus Rhaphiolepis.
The Geran epithet Crataegus derives from the Greek kratos “strong” because of the great strength of the wood and akis “sharp”, referring to the thorns of some species.
The name Haw, originally an Old English term for hedge (from the Anglo-Saxon term haguthorn, “a fce with thorns”),
Orange Hawthorn Berries On A Branch With Green Leaves. Stock Image
With small pome fruit and (mostly) thorny branches. The most common type of bark is smooth gray in young individuals and develops shallow longitudinal cracks with narrow ridges in older trees. The thorns are small sharp-pointed branches, arising either from other branches or from the trunk, and are typically 1–3 cm (1 ⁄2–1 in) long (recorded as up to
). The leaves grow spirally on long stems and in clusters on spurs on branches or twigs. The leaves of most species have lobed or serrated margins and are somewhat variable in shape. The fruit, sometimes known as “Haw”, is berry-like but structurally a pome containing one to five pyres resembling the “stones” of plums, peaches, etc., which are drupes of the same subfamily.
The number of species in the Gus depends on taxonomic interpretation. Some botanists have recognized 1000 or more species in the past,
The Gus probably first appeared in the Eoze, with the ancestral area likely being eastern North America and Europe, which remained closely connected at the time due to the North Atlantic land bridge. The earliest known leaves of the Gus are from the Eoze of North America, with the earliest leaves from Europe being from the Oligoce.
A Complete Guide To Washington Hawthorn Trees
Hawthorn provides food and shelter to many species of birds and mammals, and the flowers are important to many nectar-eating insects. Hawthorn is also used as a food plant by the larvae of a large number of Lepidoptera species, such as B. the small eggar moth E. lanestris. Haws are important for winter wildlife, particularly thrushes and waxwings; These birds eat the haws and disperse the seeds in their droppings.
The “haws” or fruits of the common hawthorn, C. monogyna, are edible. In the UK they are sometimes used to make jelly or homemade wine.
The leaves are edible, and if picked young in spring they are better suited for salads.
The young leaves and flower buds, which are also edible, are known as “bread and cheese” in rural glands.
Crataegus (thorn Or May Tree)
In the southern United States, fruits from three native species are known collectively as mayhaws and are made into jellies that are considered a delicacy. The Kutai of northwestern North America used red and black hawthorn fruits as food.
On Manitoulin Island, Ontario, some red-fruited species are known as blueberries. During colonization, European settlers ate these fruits during the winter as their only remaining food source. People born on the island are now called “Haweaters”.
The fruits of Crataegus mexicana are known as tejocotes in Mexico and are eaten raw, cooked, or in jam during the winter. They are stuffed into the Piñatas Brok during the traditional pre-Christmas celebration known as Las Posadas. They are also boiled with other fruits to make a Christmas punch. Mixing tejocote paste, sugar, and chilli powder makes a popular Mexican candy called rielitos, which is made by several brands.
The 4 cm large fruits of the species Crataegus pinnatifida (Chinese hawthorn) are tart, bright red and resemble small crab apple fruits. They’re used to make many types of Chinese snacks, including rosehip flakes, and they’re coated in sugar syrup and placed on a tanghulu stick. The fruit, called 山楂 shān zhā in Chinese, is also used to make jams, jellies, juices, liquor, and other beverages; These, in turn, could be used in other dishes (for example, many older recipes for Cantonese sweet and sour sauce call for shānzhā jam). In South Korea, a liqueur called sansachun (산사춘) is made from the fruit.
The Hawthorn: Rich With Color
In Iran, the fruits of Crataegus (including Crataegus azarolus var. aronia, as well as other species) are known as zâlzâlak and are eaten raw as a snack or made into a jam of the same name.
A 2008 Cochrane Collaboration meta-analysis of previous studies concluded that there is evidence of “a significant benefit in symptom control and physiological outcomes” for