Cockspur Hawthorn


Crataegus crus-galli

Leaves: Deciduous. Leaves are 1-4" long and  ½ -1 ½ ” wide, with a finely serrated leaf edge and oval shape with a blunt tip. They are dark green in color and glossy. Redish-purple fall color.

Bark/Twigs: Red-brown to grayish colored bark. It is scaly or sometimes blocky when young. Weakly furrowed, ridged, scaly, and often fluted or knotted when older.  Numerous 1-3" long, slender thorns. Plant thornless variety inermis.

Flowers/Fruit: Flowers are white, ½" diameter, and bloom in small clusters. Blooms early June for 7-10 days.  Fruit a ¼- ½ " diameter berry (pome), bright orange-red to red-purple when mature. Fruit persists into winter and attracts birds.

Mature size and shape: Small. 15-25’h x 10-20’w. Broadly oval to rounded shape, dense and thorny tree. Becomes flat-topped with age.

General information/special features: Plant in full sun. Shade intolerant. Fairly tough, drought and salt tolerant and pH adaptable.

Landscape use and Maintenance: Nice ornamental tree that can be planted in small groups or as a specimen. Average growing rate. Average maintenance. Plant thornless varieties if available.

USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-7

Family/Origin: Rosaceae – Rose. Native to much of the eastern U.S.

Campus use: Somewhat uncommon. Can be found south of the Union Building (Bld 53).