Hawthorn Facts

Hawthorn Facts
Hawthorn, also known as thornapple is deciduous tree that belongs to the family of roses. There are around 200 species and numerous varieties of hawthorn that can be found in Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. Hawthorn prefers areas with temperate climate. It grows on the moist, well-drained soil, on the sunny locations within the woodlands and scrublands. People cultivate hawthorn in ornamental purposes (some types of hawthorn can be also grown as bonsai) and as a source of food and wood.
Interesting Hawthorn Facts:
Hawthorn can grow in the form of small tree or thorny shrub. It can reach 20 to 40 feet in height.
Hawthorn has knotty, twisted trunk covered with grey or reddish brown, scaly bark. Twigs are slender and equipped with 1 to 5 inches long thorns.
Hawthorn has thin, deeply lobed leaves with serrated edges. Leaves are alternately arranged on the branches. They change the color from dark green to orange-red at the beginning of the autumn, before they fall from the tree.
Hawthorn produces white flowers with both types of reproductive organs (bisexual flowers). Male's parts are easily recognized thanks to pink-tipped stamens. Flowers are arranged in clusters composed of up to 16 individual flowers.
Hawthorn blooms from May to June. Flowers are fragrant and they attract butterflies and other insects that are responsible for the pollination of this plant.
Botanically speaking, fruit of hawthorn is a berry-like, fleshy pome. Fruit is also known as haw. It contains 1 to 5 seed covered with tough membrane. Fruit is arranged in clusters and it ripens during October and November.
Birds, squirrels, raccoons and rabbits like to eat fruit and seed of hawthorn. They play important role in dispersal of seed (undigested seed is eliminated via feces away from the mother plant).
People also eat fruit of hawthorn. Fruit can be consumed raw or in the form of jellies, jams and sauces.
Young leaves of hawthorn are edible. They were often consumed in the past, when other food sources were not available.
Flowers of hawthorn are edible and they are usually consumed in the form of salad. They are also used for decoration of various desserts and for the preparation of floral tea.
Leaves of hawthorn don't contain nicotine and they can be used as a substitute for tobacco.
Wood of hawthorn is used in the industry of tool handles and for the manufacture of various household items, fence posts and sculptures.
Root of hawthorn is used for the manufacture of combs and jewelry boxes.
During the Middle Ages, wine made of hawthorn fruit was used in treatment of high blood pressure. Today, fruit of hawthorn is used to facilitate digestion and to strengthen cardiovascular system.
Hawthorn can survive up to 400 years in the wild.

Related Links:
Plants Facts
Animals Facts