Plant Guide > Trees > Hawthorns > Parsley Haw Tree

Parsley Haw Tree

Parsley Haw TreeParsley Haw (C. apiifolia, Michx.)-Tree 15 to 20 feet, with horizontal, zigzag, twisted branches, forming irregular, wide, open head. Thorns stout, straight, brown, 1 to 1 1/2 inches long. Wood hard, heavy, reddish brown, with satiny lustre. Leaves broadly ovate to round, with 5 to 7 lobes, separated by deep sinuses, and sharply toothed margins to the broad, entire base; bright green; smooth above, 1 1/2 to 2 inches long; petioles slender, long.

Flowers, March to April, 1/2 inch long, in hairy, dense corymbs; stamens 20, anthers bright rose colour, styles 1 to 3. Fruits, October, persistent for several weeks, oblong, 1/4 to 1/3 inch long, scarlet; nutlets 1 to 3, grooved. Preferred habitat, stream borders, hummocks in pine barrens and swamp margins.

Distribution, coast region from Virginia to Florida; westward to Arkansas and Texas. Uses: One of the finest and most abundant hawthorns in the valley of the Mississippi. Its graceful, parsleylike leaves at once distinguish it from other species. The flowers and fruit are small, but abundant and very handsome.