Genus & Species Common Name Family Family Common Name
Crataegus douglasii Lindl. Black Hawthorn Rosaceae Rose Family


CRATAEGUS L. Hawthorn.
Large shrubs or small trees, usually with thorns; leaves alternate,
simple, serrate to shallowly lobed; flowers few, usually white, in
terminal corymbs; calyx 5-lobed, the tube campanulate to cup-shaped;
petals 5, rounded; stamens 5-many; ovary inferior, of 1-5 carpels;
fruit, globose or ovoid.
Fruit red; leaves pubescent at least beneath; thorns 3-6 cm long… C.
Fruit black or nearly so; leaves glabrate or nearly so; thorns usually
1.5-3cm long.
Leaf blades serrate and lobed toward the apex, obovate to broadly
ovate, almost as broad as long; spines stout… C. Douglasii.
Leaf blades finely serrate, sometimes irregularly so, elliptic to ovate
lanceolate, almost twice as long as broad; spines slender… C.

C. Douglasii Lindl. Usually a small tree up to 10 m tall, with stout
spines 8-20 mm long, and glabrous twigs; leaf blades 3-8 cm long, Pale
beneath; rimes glabrous; calyx lobes ovate to oblong, often retire,
pubescent within; fruit globose, 6-10 mm 1. diameter, glabrous. Moist
Soil. Mont., to B. C., south to Idaho and Calif.

This small tree or large shrub is common in moist areas such as stream
banks and is commonly found with chokecherry. It usually grows in dense
colonies. In other areas, it is associated with Ponderosa Pine, Douglas
Fir, Grand Fir-Hemlock, and in ecotones between forest and grasslands.
Sometimes it is found in disturbed forest areas.

the blades are commonly 3-6 cm long and about as broad as long. While
sometimes simply serrate, they are usually doubly serrate or lobed with
serrations. They are generally obovate in shape. The petioles are
usually about 1/3 the length of the blade.

The ovary is inferior; the hypanthium varies from glabrous to
pubescent; the sepals are reflexed, triangular in shape, and about
1.5-2.5 mm long. The nearly orbicular white petals are about 5-7 mm
long. The stamens vary from 10-20. There are normally 5 styles.

The 1 cm, glabrous pome is dark maroon to blackish.

Black Hawthorn is usually associated with streams, but can also form
dense colonies in moist areas on mountainsides, under Ponderosa Pine or
Douglas Fir in natural or disturbed areas, or along moist roadsides.

From southern Alaska south to California on both sides of the cascades,
east to Alberta
southward through North and South Dakota to Colorado, Utah, and eastern

This a vicious, thorned bush which both people and cattle usually
avoid. Because of this it provides good cover for small mammals and
birds. The pomes are eaten by birds and bears. They make a pretty
tasty jelly even though while raw, they are rather dry and bland.
Porcupines often spend large portions of winters in Black Hawthorns
eating off the bark.
This species is sometimes divided into subspecies or varieties or into
separate species based on leaf size and shape and length of thorns.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,

Photos and content written by Karl Holte, 2002