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House with native plants and animalsGoing Native: Urban Landscaping for Wildlife with Native Plants
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Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.)

Hawthorn is a deciduous tree that may grow 15 to 25 feet tall, but many species may appear as shrubs. The leaves are highly variable, but are generally alternate with a toothed and lobed margin. The bark is smooth and gray-brown when young. As the tree ages, the bark gets darker in color and develops scales. In mid- to late spring, small, white flowers mature in clusters at the end of branches. The small tree produces a yellow to red pome that matures in early fall.


Host plant for Gray Hairstreak, Red-Spotted Purple, and Viceroy butterflies. Hummingbirds and butterflies nectar from the blooms. Songbirds, quail, wild turkeys, and small mammals eat the fruit.

Plant Type Tree 10-30 feet
Leaf Type Deciduous
Deer Resistance High
Regions Mountain, Piedmont, Coastal Plain
Light Full Sun, Partial Sun/Shade, Full Shade
Soil Moist, Dry
Bloom Times Spring
Seed Times Fall
Wildlife Value Fleshy Fruit, Hummingbird Nectar, Butterfly/Insect Nectar, Butterfly Larvae Host
NC Forest ServiceNC Cooperative Extension