1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
Loading...

Hawthorn

Edible Edible Autumn Autumn Spring Spring Summer Summer

A very common and healthy plant to forage from.

Hedgerow Type
Common Names Hawthorn, May, Maythorn, Whitethorn
Scientific Name Crataegus monogyna/laevigata
Season Start Mar
Season End Nov
Please note that each and every hedgerow item you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.

Leaves

Deeply lobed and a bit darker green on the top surface of the leaf.

Flowers

Small, white, with five petals and an almondy smell. Flowers from May to June.

 

Fruit

The orange to deep red berries, typically with one stone although there can be more in some species or hybrids, hang in clusters in the Autumn.

Stem

The smaller thin branches have very sharp thorns.

Trunk

Older mature Hawthorns are more like trees than shrubs and have gnarled, twisted trunks.

Habitat

Hedgerows, woodland, waste ground and planted in urban areas.

Possible Confusion

With its distinctive leaves it is quite hard to confuse this plant with any other.

Smell

The flowers have a bitter almond or marzipan smell.

Taste

The berries taste a bit like a slightly over ripe apple.

Frequency

Common.

Collecting

The leaves can be collected in Spring for use in salads or at any time for teas.

The petals can be used for salads.

The berries are best after a frost in Autumn but as frosts appear later and later try the berries, they are ready when sweet. We also have freezers now so the berries can be ‘bletted’ (frozen) artificially.

Medicinal Uses

All parts of the hawthorn are good for regulating  blood pressure but the leaves are reported as the best and used to make a tea.

Other Facts

The Hawthorn has a few different species and many hybrids growing in the UK but the most common is monogyna followed by the Midland Hawthorn, laevigata. Both can grow as a bush like shrub or more like a tree with monogyna usually being more upright.
The berries contain a large amount of pectin and are a great addition to jellies and jams to help them set. The berries make a fine jelly on their own and just the juice, made by crushing the berries in the hands and sieving them, will set very quickly with no heat. If the berries are very sweet no sugar is needed, if not just add a little sugar to taste.
Hawthorn makes a particularly secure barrier that is quite impenetrable to humans and large animals.

COMMENTS

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

RELATED WILD FOOD RECIPES

RELATED FORAGING ARTICLES