Crataegus crus-galli

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Crataegus crus-galli
A cultivated form
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Crataegus
Section: Crataegus sect. Coccineae
Series: Crataegus ser. Crus-galli
C. crus-galli
Binomial name
Crataegus crus-galli
Synonyms list
    • Crataegus acutifolia Sarg.
    • Crataegus albanthera Sarg.
    • Crataegus arborea Beadle
    • Crataegus barrettiana Sarg.
    • Crataegus calophylla Sarg.
    • Crataegus candens Sarg.
    • Crataegus cherokeensis Sarg.
    • Crataegus consueta Sarg.
    • Crataegus hamata E.J.Palmer
    • Crataegus hannibalensis E.J.Palmer
    • Crataegus infera Sarg.
    • Crataegus leptophylla Sarg.
    • Crataegus limnophylla Sarg.
    • Crataegus ludovicensis Sarg.
    • Crataegus monosperma Sarg.
    • Crataegus pachyphylla Sarg.
    • Crataegus paradoxa Sarg.
    • Crataegus parkiae Sarg.
    • Crataegus permera Sarg.
    • Crataegus phaneroneura Sarg.
    • Crataegus polyclada Sarg.
    • Crataegus pyracanthoidesBeadle
    • Crataegus regalis Beadle
    • Crataegus rubrifolia Sarg.
    • Crataegus rudis Sarg.
    • Crataegus severa Sarg.
    • Crataegus strongylophylla Sarg.
    • Crataegus tantula Sarg.
    • Crataegus tardiflora Sarg.
    • Crataegus tenax Ashe
    • Crataegus tenuispina Sarg.
    • Crataegus truncata Sarg.

Crataegus crus-galli is a species of hawthorn known by the common names cockspur hawthorn and cockspur thorn. It is native to eastern North America from Ontario to Texas to Florida, and it is widely used in horticulture.[2][3] It is thought to be the parent, along with Crataegus succulenta, of the tetraploid species Crataegus persimilis.


This is a small tree growing up to about 10 meters tall and 8 meters wide, rounded in form when young and spreading and flattening as it matures. The leaves are 5 to 6 centimeters long, glossy dark green in color and turning gold to red in the fall. The flowers are white and have a scent generally considered unpleasant. The fruits are small pomes that vary in colour, usually a shade of red.[3] Most wild varieties[specify] of the tree are heavily armed in sharp thorns several centimeters long.[citation needed]

A Cockspur Thorn tree in flower, Oxfordshire UK, 5th May 2022.


This species is a popular ornamental tree, especially var. inermis, which lacks thorns. Many other wild forms would be very suitable for landscaping if better known, and yellow-fruited forms exist.[3]


The fruit is edible and can be made into jelly or crushed to make tea.[4]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Phipps, J.B. (2015), "Crataegus crus-galli Linnaeus", in L. Brouillet; K. Gandhi; C.L. Howard; H. Jeude; R.W. Kiger; J.B. Phipps; A.C. Pryor; H.H. Schmidt; J.L. Strother; J.L. Zarucchi (eds.), Flora of North America North of Mexico, vol. 9: Magnoliophyta: Picramniaceae to Rosaceae, New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 538–619
  2. ^ USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Crataegus crus-galli L.". The PLANTS Database ( Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team. Retrieved 7 June 2022.
  3. ^ a b c Phipps, J.B.; O’Kennon, R.J.; Lance, R.W. (2003). Hawthorns and medlars. Cambridge, U.K.: Royal Horticultural Society. ISBN 0-88192-591-8.
  4. ^ Elias, Thomas S.; Dykeman, Peter A. (2009) [1982]. Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide to Over 200 Natural Foods. New York: Sterling. pp. 237–38. ISBN 978-1-4027-6715-9. OCLC 244766414.

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