Wednesday, June 2, 2010

June 2 - Hawthorn Tree

The champion Hawthorn Tree at the Asheville Botanical Gardens
The fruits of the Hawthorn are tart, bright red, and resemble small crabapple fruits.
The fruits can be eaten raw, cooked, or in jam. Care must be taken before consuming any wild edible berry. You must research to verify that the berry you are going to eat is safe for consumption

In the southern United States fruits of three native species are known as mayhaws and are made into jellies.
The leaves are edible and, if picked in spring when still young, they are tender enough to be used in salads.

Hawthorns have been used in naturopathic, Chinese, herbal and traditional medicine.

Hawthorn species is very hard and resistant to rot. It has been used as tool handles and fence posts.

This is a small tree with long thorns. Leaves are toothed, variable, and simple.

There are as many as 1000 varieties of hawthorn trees. Some botanists will debate the number as being 100 varieties of hawthorns. This is because they are almost indistinguishable as species.

The Hawthorn berries stay on the tree through the winter providing food for many small mammals and birds.

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