Crataegus crus-galli L. - Cockspur Hawthorn


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Crataegus crusgalli - (image 1 of 6)



Family: Rosaceae


Disturbed woodland and pastures.


Anemone virginiana, Aster sagittifolius drummondii, Carya ovata, Craetagus mollis, Eupatroium rugosum, Fraxinus americana, Geum canadense, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Prunus virginiana, Ptelea trifoliata, Quercus alba, Quercus rubra, Rhus radicans, Viola sororia.


Quebec south to FL, west to MN, KS, and TX.


Tree or large shrub with a rounded and wide-spreading horizontal branching habit, to 10 m. Branches beset with numerous 2-3" thorns. Leaves obovate, dark green and glossy. Flowers white, petals 5, stamens 10, in flat corymbs. Fruit a deep red drupe.      


Flowers late May to early June

Wetland indicator: Facultative

Cultivated forms usually lack the impressive thorns that make the species somewhat of a hazard in the landscape. The horizontal branching is one of its finer ornamental characteristics, along with glossy foliage and red fruits that persist into winter. Fall color varies from bronze to purple-red. 


Dirr, Michael A. 1998. Manual of Woody Landscape Plants: Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture, Propagation and Uses.
5th ed. Champaign, Illiois: Stipes Publishing L.L.C.


Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY


Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.




 Michael Hough 2004