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Crataegus coccinea L.

scarlet hawthorn

New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

Where native and non-native distributions co-occur in a county, only the native distribution is shown.

North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Scarlet hawthorn could be so named for many reasons, including its bright red fruits produced in late summer, the leaves that turn reddish-purple in fall, and its deep red buds that overwinter. Its leaves are quite distinctive for their 5-6 large lobes on the margins, which each have very toothy edges (leaves are double-dentate). The flowers smell unpleasant, and the fruits taste good only to birds.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), forest edges, forests, meadows and fields

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
  • Vermont
Growth form
  • the plant is a shrub (a woody plant with several stems growing from the base)
  • the plant is a tree
Leaf type
the leaf blade is simple (lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
Leaves per node
there is one leaf per node along the stem
Leaf blade edges
  • the edge of the leaf blade has lobes, or it has both teeth and lobes
  • the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
Leaf duration
the leaves drop off in winter (or they wither but persist on the plant)
armature on plant
the plant has spines, prickles, or thorns
Leaf blade length
30–70 mm
Leaf blade width
25–60 mm
Leaf stalk
the leaves have leaf stalks
Fruit type (general)
the fruit is fleshy
Bark texture
the bark of an adult plant is ridged or plated
Twig winter color
  • brown
  • red
Bud scale number
there are three or more scales on the winter bud, and they overlap like shingles, with one edge covered and the other edge exposed
Show All Characteristics
  • Buds or leaf scars
    Bud scale number
    there are three or more scales on the winter bud, and they overlap like shingles, with one edge covered and the other edge exposed
    Bud scar shape (Fraxinus)
    NA
  • Flowers
    Anther color
    there is a noticeable pink, reddish or purplish tint to the anthers
    Carpels fused
    the carpels are fused to one another
    Flower petal color
    white
    Hairs on ovary (Amelanchier)
    NA
    Hypanthium present
    the flower has a hypanthium
    Inflorescence hairs
    • there are hairs on some part of the inflorescence
    • there are no hairs on the inflorescence
    Inflorescence type
    the inflorescence is a corymb (with long lower branches and shorter upper branches, giving it a more or less flat-topped look)
    Number of pistils
    1
    Ovary position
    • the ovary is above the point of petal and/or sepal attachment
    • the ovary is below the point of petal and/or sepal attachment
    Sepal cilia (Ilex)
    NA
    Sepal tip glands
    there are glands at the tips of the sepal lobes
    Stamen number
    • 10
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    Stamens fused
    the stamens are not fused to one another
  • Fruits or seeds
    Berry color
    red
    Fruit tissue origin
    the hypanthium of the flower becomes part of the fruit
    Fruit type (general)
    the fruit is fleshy
    Fruit type (specific)
    the fruit is a berry (fleshy, with the wall enclosing one or more sections, with two or more seeds)
    Nut with spines (Fagaceae)
    NA
    Wings on fruit
    there are no wings on the fruit
  • Glands or sap
    Stalked glands on fruit (Rosa)
    NA
  • Growth form
    Growth form
    • the plant is a shrub (a woody plant with several stems growing from the base)
    • the plant is a tree
  • Leaves
    Hairs on upper side of leaf blade
    • the upper side of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    • the upper side of the leaf is not hairy, or has very few hairs
    Leaf blade base shape
    • The base of the leaf blade is cordate (heart-shaped, with rounded lobes)
    • the base of the leaf blade is truncate (ends abruptly in a more or less straight line as though cut off)
    Leaf blade edges
    • the edge of the leaf blade has lobes, or it has both teeth and lobes
    • the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
    Leaf blade edges (Acer)
    NA
    Leaf blade hairs
    the hairs on the leaf blade are different from the choices given
    Leaf blade length
    30–70 mm
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is orbicular (roughly circular, as wide as long)
    • the leaf blade is ovate (widest below the middle and broadly tapering at both ends)
    Leaf blade width
    25–60 mm
    Leaf duration
    the leaves drop off in winter (or they wither but persist on the plant)
    Leaf form
    the plant is broad-leaved (with broadly flattened leaf blades)
    Leaf lobe tips (Quercus)
    NA
    Leaf stalk
    the leaves have leaf stalks
    Leaf teeth
    the leaf blade margin is serrate (with forward-pointing teeth) or dentate (with outward-pointing teeth)
    Leaf teeth hairs (Carya)
    NA
    Leaf type
    the leaf blade is simple (lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Leaves per node
    there is one leaf per node along the stem
    Specific leaf type
    the leaves are simple (lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets
    Stipules
    the plant has stipules
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Massachusetts
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • edges of forests
    • forests
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • meadows or fields
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Aerial roots
    the plant has no aerial roots
    Bark texture
    the bark of an adult plant is ridged or plated
    Branch brittleness (willows only)
    NA
    First-year cane (Rubus)
    NA
    Twig papillae (Vaccinium species only)
    NA
    Twig winter color
    • brown
    • red
    armature on plant
    the plant has spines, prickles, or thorns

Wetland Status

Not classified

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
absent
Maine
absent
Massachusetts
absent
New Hampshire
absent
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
absent

Conservation Status

None

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Crataegus pringlei
Crataegus holmesiana

Family

Rosaceae

Genus

Crataegus

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

6.  Crataegus coccinea L. N

scarlet hawthorn. Crataegus lobulata Sarg.; C. pedicellata Sarg,; C. pringlei Sarg. var. lobulata (Sarg.) Egglest.; C. polita Sarg.; C. robesoniana Sarg. • CT, MA, VT. Fields, forest borders, roadsides, early successional forests.