Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Crataegus monogyna Jacq.

Fully-hardy, rounded, thorny, deciduous tree with 3-5-lobed glossy leaves and corymbs of up to 10 white to pink flowers in late spring, followed by round red fruit.  To 8m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Horticultural & Botanical History

An ancient plant in cultivation.  In parts of England hedges containing Hawthorn several hundreds of years old are recorded.  ‘Haw-Thorn.  Spina Alba.  This grows to be a pretty large tree, the leaves are a deep grass green, the flowers white with reddish apices in the middle, and the berries red.  It flowers in May, and the fruit is ripe in September.  The flowers & fruit are both used in the shops, and are accounted diuretic, good for ye stone and gravel, & pleurisy.  The Aqua Nephritica is made of the flowers.’  [Blackwell pl.149/1737].

History at Camden Park

Introduced to the gardens before 1843 under the name Crataegus oxyacantha – Hawthorn.  Listed in all published catalogues [T.352/1843].  Much used for hedging and this is probably why it was introduced.  Particularly suited to layering.  Naturalised in parts of New South Wales.  It still grows in the gardens.


Crataegus oxyacantha of Linnaeus is now usually split into two species, Crataegus monogyna Jacq., or Common Hawthorn as described here, and Crataegus laevigata (Poir.) DC., sometimes called the Midlands Hawthorn. The differences between the two plants are minor, ranges overlap and hybrids are common. It is difficult to consider them as more than geographic forms. Macarthur’s plant may be Crataegus laevigata.

Published Feb 05, 2010 - 01:41 PM | Last updated Aug 02, 2010 - 10:39 AM

Figured is a spiny shoot with deeply cut leaves, raceme of white flowers and clusters of red berries.  Blackwell pl.149, 1737.

Crataegus monogyna Jacq. | Blackwell pl.149/1737 | BHL

Family Rosaceae
Region of origin

Europe to India and North Africa

  • Crataegus oxyacantha L. emend Jacq. 
Common Name

May, Hawthorn, Whitethorn

Name in the Camden Park Record

Crataegus oxyacantha – Hawthorn 

Confidence level high