1. *Black (Douglas’) hawthorn – Crataegus douglasii (krah-TEE-gus doug-LAS-ee-eye)
Family: Rosaceae (Rose Family)
Native to: Western of N. America from AK to N. CA, NM; open woodlands, riparian corridors, wet
meadows, thickets, roadsides and coastal bluffs to 5000 ft, generally on deep, fine-textured soils.
Growth characteristics: woody shrub/tree mature height: 20-30 ft. mature width: 15-20 ft.
Winter-deciduous woody shrub/tree with sturdy arcing branches. Can be pruned up to tree shape,
but may sucker. Plant has stout, sharp thorns, hence the name. Older bark rough, gray and scaly;
new bark red-brown. Leaves rounded, simple, pleasant medium-dark green. Slow grower – strong
wood. Strong, deep root system. Bark and leaves were used medicinally by Native Americans.
Blooms/fruits: Blooms in spring – March to May. Flowers small, white in dense clusters – showy in
bloom. Flowers have somewhat ‘fishy’ scent – attracts butterflies and other small pollinator insects.
Dark red/purple fruits look like small apple (1/3-1/2 inch) and are edible; ripen in fall. Fruits make
wonderful jelly, syrup, tea, wine, even tarts/pastries (but they are seedy).
Uses in the garden: Makes a nice shade tree if pruned up. Good choice for hedgerow, hedge or
screen. Wonderful addition to habitat or edibles garden. Good on slopes, for erosion control.
Pleasant large shrub that probably should be used more often in gardens.
Sensible substitute for: Non-native shrubs and small trees.
Attracts: Excellent bird habitat: provides cover, nest sites and winter food. Flowers attract
butterflies, insect pollinators. Larval host plant for Gray Hairstreak, Mourning Cloak butterflies.
Sun Part-shade best in our area; full sun to shade in native range.
Soil Likes deep fine-textured soils with humus (add compost); pH: slightly acid (4.5-7.5)
Water Regular to moderate – Water Zones 2 to 3.
Fertilizer ½ strength fertilizer fine; a top-dressing of compost would be appreciated
Other Organic mulch
Management: Prune when dormant (winter); remove suckers. Fall leaf-fall. Other than that, easy.
Propagation: from seed: 2-3 month cold-moist treatment by cuttings: ? hard- or semi-softwood
Plant/seed sources (see list for source numbers): 8, 13 3/31/14
* not native to western Los Angeles County, but a CA native © Project SOUND