Hawthorn Tree In Winter With Berries – Green hawthorn (“Winter King” variety) has red fruits in autumn. Photo: M. Talabac, University of Maryland
Sun/shade: Native species grow in partial shade to full shade; The ‘Winter King’ variety grows in filtered shade to full sun
Hawthorn Tree In Winter With Berries
Garden Uses: Green hawthorn, also called southern garden hawthorn (Crataegus viridis), is native to the southeastern United States, including the coastal plain of Maryland. Its natural habitat includes lowland areas, valleys and marshes with moderately wet soils and full or partial shade.
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The cultivated variety, Crataegus viridis ‘Winter King’, tolerates full sun and adapts well to a wide variety of soil conditions, including compacted and occasionally dry soils. It tolerates air pollution and is a good choice for urban areas. The ‘Winter King’ variety has small and inconspicuous spikes, unlike the straight species, which can have spikes up to 1.5 inches long.
Green hawthorn offers several seasons of interest: showy white flowers in spring, attractive scarlet leaves in fall, and small fruits that turn orange-red in fall and can remain on the tree through winter. The berries are edible, but are not considered high quality for human consumption. In mature trees, patches of the outer gray bark peel off to reveal the inner orange bark.
Wildlife: Green hawthorn flowers provide nectar for bees and adult butterflies. Various songbirds and small mammals eat the fruit.
Director, Michael. 1998. Manual of Woody Landscape Plants: Their Identification, Ornamental Properties, Culture, Propagation and Use, Fifth Edition.
Sacred Tree Profile: Hawthorn (lore, Medicine, Magic, And Mystery)
Slattery, Britt E., et al. al. 2005. Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping, U.S. Fish & Wildlife, Chesapeake Bay Field Office, Annapolis, MD. 82 pp. Plant one of these shrubs or small trees to add color to your fall-winter garden. Some work well as trellises and turn nothing into a beautiful focal point of a fence or wall. Their berry-laden branches are fun to pick indoors. And wild birds love autumn berries.
Autumn is the best time to shop for tree plants. Put them in the ground now or place the Children’s Room cans in larger containers for an instant holiday display on the porch or patio and enjoy seasonal interest from blooms to berries all year round.
Masses of red berries appear on bare branches as the leaves turn yellow and fall. Grows 25-30 feet tall and wide. Climate zones 2-12, 14-17.
Glossy blue or turquoise fall berries framed by scarlet calyxes form in late summer and hang down after the leaves drop.
Plants With Winter Interest
This deciduous shrub reaches 10 to 15 feet tall and wide. Partial shade. Zones 15-17, 20-24 (find your climate zone); can be grown in zones 5 and 6, but can freeze to the ground.
The olive-sized, bulging fruits turn yellow when young and red when ripe. The fruits are borne at the same time as the urn-shaped flowers amid dark evergreen leaves.
The species ranges from 8 to 35 feet tall and wide; compact varieties reach only 5 to 8 feet tall. Full sun or partial shade (necessary in desert areas). Areas 4-24.
Another common name for this deciduous shrub – Himalayan pheasant berry – alludes to the attractiveness of the autumn berries to birds.
Are Hawthorn Berries Edible?
The berries start out green but quickly turn red and then deep purplish-black. Grows to 6 feet tall and wide. Full sun or light shade. zones 4-6, 14-17, 20-24.
The autumn berries of this shrub provide a wonderful shade of color throughout the cold season. Round amethyst to purple berries remain on bare stems as the willow-like leaves discolor and fall.
This deciduous shrub grows to 6 feet tall (sometimes more) and almost as wide. Full sun or light shade. climate zones 3-9, 14-24. Find your climate zone
This easy-to-grow westerner looks good all year round. Its clusters of yellow summer flowers are followed by blue or blue-black fall berries, which birds love.
Trees With Red Berries: Our Favorite Red Berry Trees
This shrub, commonly referred to as firestorm (after its Latin name), bears red, orange, or yellow berries that are the size of a pea. The glossy leaves are evergreen (semi-evergreen in cold-winter climates).
Pyracantha is a beautiful espalier that brings greenery and seasonal color to an empty wall or fence. Species and cultivars grow 3 to 15 feet tall and 4 to 10 feet wide. Full sun. Areas 3-24. Find your climate zone
C. lacteus (pictured). Clusters of red fruits persist for a long time among the dark green leaves of this evergreen shrub. Full sun. Areas 4-24.
C. dammeri, or bearberry Cotoneaster, displays bright red fruits amid dark evergreen leaves. It is only 6 to 12 inches tall, but spreads 10 feet wide and descends the slope. Full sun or partial shade. Areas 2-24.
Thornless Cockspur Hawthorn
C. divaricatus. Bright red, egg-shaped fruits cover the branches of this deciduous shrub, whose dark green leaves turn orange-red in autumn. After the leaves fall, the berries remain until birds eat them. Grows to 6 feet tall and wide. Full sun. Areas 1-24.
C. horizontalis. The red fruits hang after the round green leaves turn orange, then red before falling. This hardwood shrub grows 2 to 3 feet tall and up to 15 feet wide. Full sun. Zones 2b-11, 14-24, A3. Information that may be out of date The information presented on this page was originally published on December 19, 2007. It may not be out of date, but look for current information on our site. If you intend to quote or refer to this information in a publication, please contact the expert or author before proceeding.
Sometimes we take native plants for granted and forget the wonderful features they bring to the landscape. One example is parsley leaf hawthorn.
My office is at Hinds Community College, and the campus here is a virtual arboretum. Every tree and bush looks as if it is part of the plan, and the design definitely had the winter color of the berry plants.
The Slim But Mighty Hawthorn Tree
For more than 12 years, I have admired the parsley-leafed hawthorns on campus. Botanically speaking, they are Crataegus marshallii, at least according to most references and USDA websites. It’s probably been changed to Crataegus apifolia to keep us on our toes.
As the name suggests, the leaves look like parsley – not the curly type, but the regular version. In spring, this member of the rose family loads up with a blanket of snow-white flowers with long, delicate-looking stamens topped with pink anthers.
I’m just saying they’re pretty, and it’s only spring. I challenge you to find a small tree with more red fruit in the fall and winter than a parsley-leafed hawthorn. There are thousands of them and they make the tree visible from afar when the sun reveals their brilliant color.
Birds eat the fruit, but I’ve also noticed that each tree has an upper branchy growth that’s perfect for nesting birds. It’s like a one-stop shop for birds – home and grocery store.
Red Hawthorn Berries In Winter 2175611 Stock Photo At Vecteezy
Parsley-leaved hawthorn is native from Texas to Florida and north to Illinois, Kentucky, and Virginia, and most references indicate that it is cold hardy from zones 4 or 5 through 9.
Trees have a nice structure, usually two or three trunks that branch into several scaffolds. Older trees have interesting exfoliating bark. They can be 25 feet tall and 25 feet wide, but most I see are closer to 15 feet tall and not quite as wide.
It can be found in a variety of soils, from acidic to slightly alkaline and from well-drained to slightly swampy. If you can find one at a nursery that specializes in natives, choose a planting location with part sun or morning sun and afternoon shade and fertile, well-drained soil. This is how you get a photo-worthy specimen.
Also know that their water needs, once confirmed, are considered medium-low. That’s nice considering the little rainfall each year.
Why Hawthorn Is The Best Tree To Plant In Small Gardens
While they can certainly stand alone, the placement against the backdrop of evergreens makes for an even better show. It’s probably one of those situations where opposites attract because the opposite of red is green.
Over the years, I’ve told you about amazing plants from around the world. This time, however, we drive by all the time and take it for granted. It’s about time we brought some of these natives back into our landscapes, and parsley-leaved hawthorn is definitely something to look out for. Those of you who regularly read this little column are probably aware that I’m no stranger to a kayak and have been dumped inside it on several botanical outings (all outings end up being botanical) in a variety of wet conditions.
I’ve also been known to kayak on a cold winter day…which isn’t usually my style as I prefer the summer, as hot as it can be. That said, even I’ll admit there’s something to be said for looking at the wondrous world around us with one of these