Hawthorn berries are small fruits that grow on the Crataegus genus of trees and shrubs. The genus has hundreds of species that are prevalent throughout Europe, North America, and Asia. They can be red, white, or black, but most often they are pink.
The fruit is round, with five compartments containing two large seed pods called "pods" or "monkey-paws". These have thin spines around their edges that help disperse the seeds after pollination by wind or animal. When ripe, the color changes from green to dark red or purple.
In English, the word "hawthorn" is also used as a name for someone who lives in or comes from Southwark, a district of London. This name is derived from an ancient royal house that was located there at one time.
There are several varieties of Crataegus plants that produce edible fruits. Some people pick the fruits when they are still green and unripe, but most choose those that are fully red because they are more attractive and do not contain any toxic chemicals.
It is common practice to eat the fruit of some plants after it has fully ripened because their skin contains acids that can damage your teeth if you eat them too soon.
[email protected]/, often known as hawthorn, quickthorn, thornapple, May-tree, whitethorn, or hawberry, is a genus comprising several hundred species of shrubs and trees endemic to temperate Northern Hemisphere areas in Europe, Asia, North Africa, and North America. They usually have small, prickly fruits, such as spiny apples, pears, or plums.
The genus name [email protected] to infection by a number of viruses. One of the most common diseases affecting [email protected] is [email protected], which causes young shoots and leaves to turn yellow and fall off the tree. Another disease is [email protected], which causes the skin of the fruit to peel away. While these disorders are most common on cultivated plants, they can also be problems for wild [email protected] populations as well.
[email protected] is one of the most important food crops in Europe and parts of Asia and North America. It provides edible fruits that are high in vitamin C and potassium and contain minimal sugar. Modern farmers grow [email protected] for its wood, which is used in construction projects outside its native range. In fact, American [email protected] is now being used instead of oak for highway signs because it grows faster than other species and does not require periodic replacement.
Hawthorn berries are traditionally used to produce jellies, wines, and ketchup. Common hawthorn's young leaves and shoots are delicious and were originally called as "bread and cheese." The fruit is edible but should not be eaten in large quantities because they contain a lot of acid which can cause stomach problems for people who are prone to such things.
People have been eating the fruits of hawthorn for centuries all over Europe. In fact, the ancient Greeks and Romans ate them because they thought they would make their hearts happy. They also used the wood for making weapons and tools. Today, we know that the heart is not made of glass so there was no need for the Ancient Greeks and Romans to eat hawthorn to make their hearts happy!
The fruits are poisonous when mature so don't eat them if you find them on the ground. Otherwise, you might want to try them later when they're less ripe.
Some species of hawthorn don't have any toxic qualities but most people shouldn't eat them because they think the fruits are sweet enough to be attractive to birds. However, some birds like the nightingale love to eat them so it's possible that some may taste good to humans too.
All you need to know is that it's a hawthorn because they all contain tasty berries. Hawthorn seeds, like apple seeds, contain cyanide and should not be consumed. Berries, leaves, and flowers may all be used to make tea. The fruit is poisonous when raw but becomes sweet when ripe.
Although the fruit is toxic, the wood is useful for making tools. It can also be burned for fuel. The bark contains tannins that are used to treat cattle hides for clothing and leather items.
The rootstock of some hawthorns is edible and popular in some countries as a food plant. It is known as "crown gall" due to its use by bacteria to create more of itself. The bacteria infect the root when it breaks soil contact and flows down into other parts of the plant through water or insects.
Some species of hawthorn produce white flowers while others are pink or red. All have five petals and an odd number of stamens (3, 5, 7, or 9). The flower colors and numbers of stamens are important in determining which species it is. For example, Crataegus monogyna has pink flowers with three stamens while C. mollis has greenish white flowers with five stamens. Both species belong to the hawthorn genus (Crataegus).
The fruit of the hawthorn tree is edible and delightful. The seeds are most likely as dangerous as apple seeds; read the "cautions" section below for further information. The Washington hawthorn tree contains clusters of tiny berries. Even this species, with its little fruit, is worthwhile to seek for. The blackberry is much more common than the white-berried variety.
The fruit of the blackthorn or sloe is poisonous if the seed coat has not fully developed when the fruit falls off the tree. This can be determined by looking at how the fruit feels when pressed firmly with your finger; if it gives then it is ripe and ready to eat. If it doesn't give then wait until it does before eating it. Sloes have a thick skin around their pit which must be removed before they can be eaten.
The fruit of the white thorn or blossom is also poisonous if the seed coat has not fully developed but you can tell this by looking at the color of the berry; if it is green then it is unripe and should be avoided like the blackthorn's fruit. White thorns tend to grow in clusters of three or five together.
All parts of the plant are toxic if not properly dried. Consult an herbalist for advice on appropriate harvesting times. It is best to wear protective clothing while collecting fruit from the wild.
Common hawthorn leaves are obovate, strongly lobed, and 2–4 cm (0.8–1.6 in) long. The top is dark green, while the bottom is pastel green. Serrations run along the leaf edge. Behind the serration is a lighter-colored area called a sinus.
The flower bud of common hawthorn looks like a small ball of tightly packed gray spheres. As it opens, the sphere unrolls to reveal five petals of white or pink.
The fruit of common hawthorn is a round red drupe 1–2 cm (0.4–0.8 in) in diameter. Each fruit contains one seed. The fruit is edible but lacks sweetness. It is usually harvested before its flesh becomes soft and turns color.
When ripe, the fruit turns bright red. This is when pollinating insects come to eat the pollen. Pollen is like sperm; it must be eaten by another insect for it to be effective. Without this insect food, the fruit cannot become seedless.
After pollination, the fruit will keep on growing. It will get larger and turn from red to blackish-red as it matures. Then it will fall off the tree.
Mature fruits can be poisonous if they contain chemicals called acridanes.