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Crataegus monogyna

Crataegus monogyna - English hawthorn, May

 

The natural range of the English hawthorn in Europe extends to the northern edge of the Baltic basin, i.e. the Finnish archipelago and nearby coastal areas. Its preferred habitats are deciduous groves, meadows, and the edges of forests and fields. In Britain it is also widely used in the hedgerows which traditionally surround fields. It is rarely grown in Finland and there is probably no native stock available.

The leaves are small and slender and densely cover the branches, which grow in attractive layers. This normally beautiful shrub or small tree is at its very best in June, when it is covered in white blossom. In autumn it enlivens the countryside with its bright red berries.

The English hawthorn can be difficult to differentiate from the other native hawthorn, Crataegus rhipidophylla, which is also very rare in the wild in Finland; the former is classed as endangered, the latter as threatened.

 

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