Fireberry hawthorn

  • Latin name: Crataegus chrysocarpa Ashe
  • French name: Aubépine dorée
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 24548
Description

Leaves

  • Leaf with detail of glandular hairy leaf stalk - fireberry hawthorn

Form

  • Deciduous, simple, alternate; small
  • Almost circular
  • Lobed
  • Almost hairless

Length

  • About 4 cm

Margin

  • Sharp teeth of 2 sizes
  • Teeth glandular

Petiole

  • Glandular, hairy
  • 2 toothed leaf-like stipules at the base

Buds

Form

  • Terminal bud broad, rounded, smooth
  • 5–10 scales
  • Lateral buds similar, somewhat smaller, often 2 or 3 side by side
  • One develops into a thorn, the other into a new shoot bearing leaves or flowers, or both
  • Leaf scars narrow, somewhat elevated, with 3 vein scars

Colour

  • Shiny reddish-brown

Twigs

Form

  • Shoots of 2 kinds
  • Long shoots straight or zigzag, lustrous, with smooth, shiny, rigid, slender, straight, very sharp thorns that are sometimes branched
  • Dwarf shoots often bear terminal flower clusters and fruit

Length

  • Thorns about 6 cm

Colour

  • Pale grey to orange-brown
  • Thorns blackish

Flowers

Form

  • Arranged in flat-topped clusters at the end of dwarf shoots
  • Each flower with 5 sepals, 5 petals, 5–25 stamens, and 1–5 pistils
  • Very showy
  • Odour sweet, fetid

Colour

  • Sepals greenish
  • Petals white or occasionally pink

Structure

  • Synoecious

Floral timing

  • Late spring, with the leaves

Fruits

  • Fruit - fireberry hawthorn

Form

  • Similar to a small apple (a pome) with thin flesh and 1–5 seeds
  • Globular
  • Hairy
  • Edible
  • Stalk hairy
  • Often remains on the tree during winter

Width

  • 10–15 mm

Colour

  • Deep red (seldom yellow, despite the Latin name)

Seeds

Form

  • Germinate after stratification in a cool, moist environment

Seedlings

Form

  • Bear 2 small leaf-like cotyledons that are raised above the ground

Bark

Form

  • Evenly separated into firm shreds that become loose at both ends

Wood

Texture

  • Hard, heavy

Uses

  • Carving, turnery

Size

Height

  • To 6 m

Tree form

Open-grown

Trunk

  • Distinct, crooked
  • Sometimes multistemmed and shrubby

Crown

  • Low, wide-spreading
  • Somewhat rounded or flat-topped

Habitat

Site

  • Abandoned farmland, along streams and in forest openings, especially on soils rich in calcium

Light tolerance

  • Moderately shade-tolerant

Range

Newfoundland to the Rocky Mountains, north to the Peace River in Alberta, and south into the United States

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