Plant Guide > Trees > Hawthorns > Haw Tree

Haw Tree

Haw TreeHaw (C. viridis, Linn.)-A round-headed tree, 20 to 35 feet, with tall, often fluted trunk, and spreading branches. Thorns slim, pale, under 1 inch long; usually wanting. Bark brown, ashy grey or orange, checked into plate-like scales. Leaves ovate or obovate, acute at apex and base, serrate and lobed above middle, usually entire below; dark green, lustrous above, pale and dull beneath, scarlet in autumn; veins strong; petioles slender.

Flowers, March to May, with leaves, in smooth corymbs, white, 3/4 inch across, stamens 20, anthers yellow, styles 5. Fruit bright scarlet in pendant clusters, flattened globose, pea-size, thin, dry flesh; nutlets 5, scarcely ridged. Preferred habitat, low ground along streams. Distribution, Savannah River to western Florida, through Gulf States to eastern Texas; north to St. Louis; forms thickets in Louisiana. Uses: Valuable ornamental tree, for the brilliance of its autumn foliage and winter fruits.

The trunk of this species attracts attention, sometimes by its form, always by its colour. Its vivid fruit hangs throughout the winter, making up in quantity what it lacks in size. Rare in the East and North, yet it is hardy in the Arnold Arboretum.