Content Detail

Green hawthorn offers beautiful flowers and fruit and is more disease resistant than other species of hawthorn. The cultivar ‘Winter King’ is more commonly sold than the species.

  • Family (English) Rose
  • Family (botanic) Rosaceae
  • Planting site City parkway, Residential and parks, Wide median
  • Tree or plant type Tree
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Illinois, North America
  • Size range Small tree (15-25 feet), Medium tree (25-40 feet)
  • Mature height 20-35 feet
  • Mature width 20-35 feet
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Chicago), Zone 6, Zone 7
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Clay soil, Dry sites, Occasional drought
  • Season of interest early winter, midwinter, mid spring, late spring, early fall, mid fall, late fall
  • Flower color and fragrance White
  • Shape or form Broad, Round
  • Growth rate Moderate
  • Transplants well Moderate
  • Wildlife Migrant birds
  • Has cultivars Yes


It can range anywhere from 15-25 feet for a small tree and 20-35 feet tall and wide for a medium tree.

Native geographic location and habitat:

It is native to the Southern United States up through southern Illinois.

Bark color and texture:

Green Hawthorn has mottled, multi-colored bark that improves with age. The stems have few to no thorns.

Leaf description:

It has simple, alternate dark green toothed and shallowly lobed leaves that are one to three inches long. Fall leaf color is purplish red.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

Late spring small, creamy white flowers emerge in flat topped clusters and are unpleasantly scented.

Fruit, cone, nut and seed descriptions:

It gets persistent red berries called pomes.

Plant care:

Green Hawthorn is a lower maintenance tree than most hawthorns as it is more disease resistant. This species tends to have few to no thorns.

Disease, pest, and problem resistance:

Cedar rusts and fire blight are potential problems, but this species is more resistant to those diseases.  It has better resistance to the problems common to hawthorns and is pollution and black walnut toxicity tolerant.

Winter King  (Crataegus viridis ‘Winter King’):

It is more vase-shaped and the fruits are larger than those of the species. This cultivar is less susceptible to rust.


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