Which White Indian Hawthorn Berries Can Be Eat – Harvesting hawthorn berries is new to me this year. They’re sweet and mellow if you buy them on time, and for the past few years I’ve tasted them very early in the fall. This year, Washington hawthorn was sweet and mellow in late October. But by this time, the single-seeded hawthorn was starting to rot, so next year I will look for them in mid-October.
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, perhaps 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)
Which White Indian Hawthorn Berries Can Be Eat
, my favorite guide to learning tree ID). Fortunately, you don’t need to be able to identify specific species. You just need 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 consumed. Don’t panic; just spit out the seeds.
Hawthorn Berries Images
Why worry about thorns? They are beautiful, interesting and tasty wild edibles with known health benefits. Some people use the berries to make hawthorn jelly, but I haven’t tried it yet. Berries, leaves and flowers can be used to make tea. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see how I am making hawthorn berry extract.
I will describe two species here, to exemplify the general characteristics. This should help you recognize a hawthorn when you see one, but I
If you’re not sure you have a hawthorn when foraging, check with additional sources until you’re sure, before eating the berries.
This grows into a small tree or large shrub and produces 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 over the top. Each berry has 3-5 seeds.
Hawthorn Tree Care
The leaves are lobed and serrated, 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 about 3 inches long. However, with reasonable caution, you can easily pick the berries, which tend to hang from the branch. It’s even easier towards the end of the season, after many of the leaves have fallen off and no longer obscure the thorns.
Also called common hawthorn, this is a native European that escaped cultivation and became naturalized in North America. It is sometimes labeled an invasive plant, but I don’t find it very often and when I do, there isn’t much in one area. It might be invasive in other parts of the country, but it doesn’t seem to be particularly aggressive here. Like the Washington hawthorn, the single-seed hawthorn grows as a shrub or small tree and produces clusters of white flowers in late spring. The oval red berries ripen a little earlier (than Washington hawthorn) in the fall and contain a single seed (hence the name). The toothed leaves are more deeply lobed than those of the Washington hawthorn, but the thorns are much smaller, only about 1/2 inch to an inch long.
Hawthorns are common in the understory of the forest here in Massachusetts, but these are skeletal specimens that do not fruit well. It’s very dark in the forest. To find fruit-laden hawthorns, look in sunny locations such as shrubby fields and thickets, along the edges of pastures and along streams. They are often planted as ornamental plants, so if your friend has one and doesn’t mind you picking some fruit, you’ll have an easy foraging experience right at your fingertips.
This is my first experience using hawthorn berries, and I am using them to make an extract, with 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 canning jar about 3/4 full with berries, covered them with 80 proof vodka, and capped 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 that’s what I’m hoping for here. With a dense growth habit, they are low maintenance plants ideal for use in small gardens and foundation plantings.
How To Grow Indian Hawthorn
Most cultivars grow between 3 and 6 feet tall and approximately the same width. Some are large shrubs that can be trained to a small tree shape.
Indian hawthorns are cultivated for their attractive, huddled shape and flower clusters. The fragrant, pink or white, apple-like flowers open in clusters above the foliage in mid-April to May. Blue-black berries appear in late summer and persist through winter. The dark green, leathery leaves are rounded, about 2 to 3 inches long, turning purplish in winter.
The compact cultivars of Indian hawthorn are suitable for use as foundation shrubs, while the larger cultivars can be used for hedges, mass plantings or screening.
Indian hawthorns are sensitive to frost damage and should be placed in protected areas if they are to be grown in upper South Carolina.
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Plants prefer the sun, although they grow in partial shade. Buckthorn prefers moist, well-draining soil, but established shrubs tolerate drought. It is tolerant of salt spray and sandy soils and is a good choice for coastal areas.
, is the most common disease of Indian hawthorn. It is most harmful after periods of frequent rains in spring and autumn.
The first symptoms are small, round, red spots on the upper and lower sides of young leaves.
These expand and on heavily diseased leaves merge, forming large irregular patches. Severe infections can result in early leaf drop.
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Slow the spread of disease by properly spacing plants to improve air movement. Water bushes with drip irrigation instead of overhead sprinklers. If sprinklers are used, water only established plants once a week as needed during the growing season and apply an inch of irrigation water at a time. Collect and discard diseased leaves that have fallen over the winter, then cover the bushes.
Sick bushes can be sprayed with Daconil (Chlorothalonil) starting when new leaves first appear in spring through early June. Spray every ten days during spring wet weather or every two weeks during spring dry weather. Addition sprays may be needed in the fall. Follow label guidance for fees and safety. See Table 1 for examples of specific brands and products.
The winter injury became more common and was quite severe during the winter of 2014-2015 where many Indian hawthorns in South Carolina were
Severe defoliation can occur during the summer following a strong infection with Entomosporium leaf spot on hawthorn.
Pile Of Red Hawthorn Berries Crataegus Cut Out On White Background Stock Photo
Dead. Plants weakened by stress from inadequate fertilization and irrigation, exposure to herbicides and foliar disease may be more likely to be damaged by cold weather. Test the soil in landscape beds for proper fertilization.
This same disease also affects red-tipped fotinia and pears (such as the Bradford pear), but can also be found in piracanta, quince, and loquat. For this reason, red-tipped fotinia is still rarely found for sale.
The best way to prevent leaf spot on hawthorn is to plant selected hardy cultivars (see below), grow them in a full sun location and use drip irrigation.
This information is provided with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement of brand names or trademarks by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied, nor is any discrimination intended by excluding products or manufacturers not mentioned. All recommendations are for conditions in South Carolina and may not apply to other areas. Use pesticides only as directed on the label. All recommendations for pesticide use are for South Carolina only and were legal at the time of publication, but registration status and usage patterns are subject to change by action by state and federal regulatory agencies. Follow all directions, precautions and restrictions that are listed.
Rhaphiolepis Indica (indian Hawthorn, Yeddo Hawthorn)
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Indian hawthorn is an evergreen shrub that thrives in sunny locations. It requires less care than other shrubs because it is slow growing and maintains its shape without pruning. Its pink or white flowers are fragrant and develop into purple-black fruit during the summer months.
*Disclaimer: Content feedback CANNOT be used as a basis for EAT ANY PLANT. Some plants can be VERY POISONOUS, please buy edible plants through regular channels.
The name, Hawthorn comes from Anglo-Saxon