English Hawthorn TreeThe English Hawthorn (C. Oxyacantha, Linn.) is the best known Crataegus in the world. It grows wild in Asia and Europe, and when it first came into cultivation no man knows. Englishmen will tell you it has always formed the hedgerows of their snug little island, and the sweetness of the blossoms will be one of the last things to fade from the exile's memory.
Snowy white, and pink and rose coloured, the "blossoming May" turns the whole countryside into a garden, with linnets and skylarks filling the fields and lanes with music. "Oh! to be in England, now that April's there!" Browning's poetry is sometimes obscure, but here is a line that needs no explanatory note for any of his countrymen.
The leaf of the English hawthorn is deeply cut, like our parsley haw, in the type species. But this species we shall rarely see. It has been so long in cultivation that the improved horticultural varieties are legion. These are much in evidence in American gardens, where they are usually grown as single specimens, for their showy flowers and coral-red fruits.