fireberry hawthorn

(Crataegus chrysocarpa var. chrysocarpa)

Conservation Status
fireberry hawthorn
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Fireberry hawthorn is a slow-growing, relatively long-lived, erect shrub that rises on 1 to 10 or more stems. It is not colonial and usually occurs as an isolated individual.

The stems are erect, up to 18 tall, and up to 6¼ in diameter at breast height, with numerous thorns. The thorns are slender, blackish, 1 to 2¾ long, straight, and simple, not compound. The stems usually form a rounded mound.

The bark is thin and gray. It is separated into small plate-like scales that are attached in the middle and separated at the top and bottom.

Twigs are brown and hairy or hairless the first year, becoming gray and hairless in the third year.

The leaves are alternate, deciduous, and small. They are on to 1 long leaf stalks (petioles). The petioles are hairy, at least on the upper surface, becoming almost hairless in late summer. They usually have 3 or more stalkless, red glands on the margins. They are ¼ to as long as the leaf blades. The leaf blades at maturity are firm, elliptic or almost circular to rhomboid or broadly egg-shaped, 1½ to 2¾ long, and 1¼ to 2¼ wide. They are narrowly or broadly wedge-shaped at the base and tapered or rounded at the tip. They have 2 to 5 shallow, to 7 16 long lobes on each side. The upper surface is dark green and usually dull, sometimes shiny. It is usually rough to the touch and covered with short, stiff, appressed hairs. The lower surface is covered with longer and softer hairs, especially along the main veins. Both surfaces tend to become almost hairless in late summer. The veins are impressed on the upper surface and raised on the lower surface. The margins are finely toothed with sharp, forward pointing teeth. The teeth are tipped with black glands that are tiny but can be seen without magnification.

The inflorescence is a branched, flat-topped or convex cluster (cyme) of 8 to 15 flowers at the end of the stems and branches.

The flowers are 9 16 to in diameter. There are 5 white petals and usually 6 to 10, sometimes 15 to 20, stamens. The anthers are usually white, sometimes pink.

The fruit is a seed capsule with a fleshy, outer covering (pome). The pome is globe-shaped and 5 16 to in diameter. It is green at first, becoming yellow or orange, then finally red when it reaches maturity in late August to early September.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

Up to 18

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

White

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
 

Bigfruit hawthorn (Crataegus macrosperma) leaf blades are somewhat smaller. They are rounded at the base, the two sides forming an unbroken arc. The lower leaf surface is hairless. The leaf blades appear more deeply lobed (proportionately).

Dotted hawthorn (Crataegus punctata) is a small tree rising on a single stem. There are usually compound thorns on the lower part of the stem and on larger branches. The leaf blades are inversely egg-shaped and tapered at the base with concave sides along the base. They are unlobed or have shallow lobes no more than 3 16 long. The flowers are larger, up to 1¼ in diameter. There are 16 to 20 stamens. The fruits are larger, up to ¾ in diameter.

Douglas hawthorn (Crataegus douglasii) has shorter thorns, no more than 1 long. The fruit turns black when it matures. In Minnesota it has been recorded only in Cook and Lake Counties.

Downy hawthorn (Crataegus mollis var. mollis) is a small tree rising usually on a single stem, sometimes a few stems. There are usually compound thorns on the lower part of the stem and on larger branches. The leaves are much larger, 2¾ to 5 long, and 2 to 4¾ wide. The flowers are larger, up to 1¼ in diameter. There are 17 to 20 stamens. The fruits are larger, up to ¾ in diameter.

Fleshy hawthorn (Crataegus succulenta) is usually a small tree rising on one stem, sometimes a shrub rising on a few stems. It sometimes has compound thorns on the lower part of the stems. Simple thorns are much longer, up to 3½long. There are no small red glands on the leaf petioles. The leaf blades are more shallowly lobed, the lobes rarely more than ¼ long. The inflorescence is larger, with 10 to 30 flowers.

Large-thorned hawthorn (Crataegus macracantha) sometimes has compound thorns on the lower part of the stems. Simple thorns are much longer, up to 4 long. There are no small red glands on the leaf petioles. The leaf blades are more shallowly lobed, the lobes rarely more than ¼ long. The inflorescence is larger, with 10 to 30 flowers.

Late hawthorn (Crataegus calpodendron) has numerous compound thorns on the lower part of the stems. The leaf petioles are densely hairy on all surfaces. The leaf blades are much longer, 2 to 4 long. The inflorescence is larger, with 15 to 45 flowers. There are 15 to 20 stamens with pink to red anthers.

Quebec hawthorn (Crataegus submollis) is a taller shrub, reaching up to 30 in height. The leaf petioles are densely hairy on all surfaces. The leaves are larger, 2 to 3¾ long, and 2 to 3¼ wide.

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Moderate moisture to dry. Forest edges and openings, thin woodlands, brushy thickets. Full to partial sun.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

Mid-May to early mid-June

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 28.

 
  12/29/2011      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

 

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Rosanae  
 

Order

Rosales (roses, elms, figs, and allies)  
 

Family

Rosaceae (rose)  
  Subfamily Amygdaloideae  
  Tribe Maleae  
  Subtribe Malinae  
 

Genus

Crataegus (hawthorn)  
  Section Coccineae  
  Series Rotundifoliae  
  Species Crataegus chrysocarpa (fireberry hawthorn)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

 

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Crataegus aboriginum

Crataegus brunetiana

Crataegus brunetiana var. fernaldii

Crataegus caliciglabrata

Crataegus chrysocarpa var. aboriginum

Crataegus chrysocarpa var. longiacuminata

Crataegus chrysocarpa var. phoenicea

Crataegus chrysocarpa var. rotundifolia

Crataegus coccinata

Crataegus coccinea

Crataegus columbiana var. chrysocarpa

Crataegus faxonii

Crataegus faxonii var. durifrucata

Crataegus faxonii var. praecoqua

Crataegus faxonii var. praetermissa

Crataegus illuminata

Crataegus jackii

Crataegus laurentiana var. brunetiana

Crataegus laurentiana var. dissimilifolia

Crataegus mercerensis

Crataegus putnamiana

Crataegus rotundifolia

Crataegus sicca

Crataegus sicca var. glabrifolia

Crataegus subrotundifolia

 
       
 

Common Names

 
  fireberry hawthorn  
       

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Cyme

A branched, flat-topped or convex flower cluster in which the terminal flower opens first and the outermost flowers open last.

 

Petiole

The stalk of a leaf blade or compound leaf that attaches the leaf blade to the stem.

 

Pome

A fruit with a central seed bearing core enclosed in thick flesh, e.g., an apple or pear.

       
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Tree

  fireberry hawthorn    
       

Leaves

  fireberry hawthorn   fireberry hawthorn
       
  fireberry hawthorn    
       

Fruit

  fireberry hawthorn   fireberry hawthorn
       
       

 

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  Crataegus chrysocarpa
Matt Lavin
 
  Crataegus chrysocarpa  
 
About

Crataegus is distinctive in usually bearing thorns and commonly having leaves that are both lobed and serrate. Shrubs 4-6 m tall, thorns over 3 cm long, pomes usually reddish, common in open and forested settings and typically forming thickets in ravines and other moist protected settings.

 
     

 

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