Crataegus monogyna

mondo-del-giardino crataegus monogina pianta


Scientific name:

Crataegus monogyna

Italian common name:

Biancospino, Azaruolo selvatico




Europa ed Asia


areas of scrub and bushes. It grows at altitudes between sea level and 1,500 metres.

Evergreen or deciduous:


mondo-del-giardino crataegus monogina fiori


no cases have been reported



4 – 4,5 meters

Width (extension):

2 – 2,5 meters


shrub or small tree

Leaf:mondo-del-giardino crataegus monogina

The leaves are 2-6 centimeters long, equipped with a petiole, rhomboidal in shape and deeply cut. The apex of the lobes is notched.


grouped in corymbs, which contain approximately 5-25. The petals are white-pink in color and 5 or 6 millimeters long.


from April to May

Fruit:mondo-del-giardino crataegus monogina

oval, red when ripe, about 1 cm in size and with a stone containing the seed. the fruits ripen between September and October. The seeds are collected in October-November, when they reach maturity.


The stem is covered with a compact, gray bark. The young branches have thorns that develop at the base of the short twigs. They are the thorny twigs (jugs) which in spring are covered with buds and flowers. This species is long-lived and can become multi-centenary, but with slow growth.


Hawthorn is a medicinal herb and is contraindicated for those suffering from low blood pressure. It has a sedative and muscle relaxant action. Its use is particularly useful in the treatment of insomnia and neurotic states characterized by excessive emotionality and anxiety. Light cardiotonic, coronary vasodilator, hypotensive, antispasmodic, sedative action.

Senile heart, hypertension, angina pectoris, palpitations, insomnia, anxiety, hot flashes in menopause.





low, easy

Light Exposure:

It prefers exposure in full sun or partial shade.

Soil type:

It adapts to all types of soil, preferring calcareous ones and rich in organic substance.

Soil acidity:

pH between 6,0 and 7,0

Italian climatic area:

widespread throughout the peninsula, including the islands

Need for water:mondo-del-giardino crataegus monogina bark

it requires a lot of water, especially during the flowering period, but the humidity must evaporate to avoid rotting of the roots. If the hawthorn is planted outdoors with adequate rainfall, it may not need additional watering.


by direct sowing immediately after harvesting, eliminating the pulp, preferably after immersion in sulfuric acid. Sow in spring only with treated seed. Propagation by semi-woody cuttings from young mother plants (2-4 years) is possible.


the most dangerous disease for this plant is represented by “fire blight” (‘Erwinia amylovora). The infection causes wilting and necrosis of shoots, flowers, leaves and fruits; on the branches it causes lacerations of the bark (cancers).


it is carried out in winter, during the period of vegetative rest. It is essential to intervene every year on the long branches, while maintaining the short ones on which the following year’s flowering will occur. In Crataegus only some shoots present at the ends develop vigorously.

PARTICULARITY mondo-del-giardino crataegus monogina winter

Crataegus from the Greek crátaigos composed of crataiós = hard, strong, in relation to its wood.

monogyna from the Greek mónos = only one, unique and from gyné = female, feminine element. With a single style and ovule and therefore seed.

In prehistoric times its fruits served as food. The Greeks and Romans were unaware of the medicinal qualities of the hawthorn: some adorned the heads of brides with it to promote fertility, others the cradles of children to ward off evil spirits.


Plant used single or in groups, suitable for parks and gardens. Used in buffer strips, renaturalisations. Good adaptability to urban conditions. The hawthorn is a honey plant and is foraged by bees but mono-floral honey can only rarely be obtained from it, because it is usually found in a minority compared to other plants in the area.mondo-del-giardino

The wood, dense and heavy, is used for the production of sticks and a popular fuel. The wood, yellowish red in colour, very compact and hard, but difficult to split, is used for lathe work.

Once upon a time, in various Italian regions, it was used as a constituent essence of inter-farm hedges, i.e. to delimit the boundaries of plots. Due to the thorns and the dense intertwining of the branches, the hawthorn hedge constituted an almost impenetrable barrier. Currently, the need not to make the movement of mechanical agricultural vehicles difficult has led to the almost total disappearance of hawthorn hedges with this function.

They are the flowers and twigs that inspired Giovanni Pascoli in the 1903 poem Valentino (“like the jugs of the hawthorn”). Also used by William of Aquitaine in “like the hawthorn branch”.

Quoted by Fabrizio De André in the song “Winter”: “Love will still pass us by / in the hawthorn season”.

Evidence on the medicinal use of hawthorn can already be found in Theophrastus, Dioscorides, in the Materia Medica of the Tang dynasty (Tang bencao), dating back to 659 AD. (the first official pharmacopoeia known in the world) and then in the common age in Mattioli.

Inquisitivenessmondo-del-giardino crataegus monogina berry

Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy have a hawthorn wand.

Wand salesman Mykew Gregorovitch defines it:

«An unusual and contradictory wand, full of paradoxes exactly like the tree that generated it: the flowers and leaves have healing powers, while the cut branches smell of death»

(from Pottermore by J.K. Rowling)

And if you still want various insights into the hawthorn, we recommend a visit to the “Interesting facts” of

In the kitchen:

The fruits of the hawthorn are edible, but are usually not eaten fresh, because they are small and with a large stone, but rather processed to obtain jams, jellies or syrups. The fruits are decorative because they remain on the shrub for a long time, even throughout the winter.


Unfortunately, in some regions of northern Italy, the sale and planting of new Hawthorn plants has been prohibited, as it is considered a vector for the spread of the Erwinia amylovora bacterium, responsible for a disease that mainly affects orchards. So before placing it in your garden, check the regional regulations on the matter with the municipality.

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Image sources: thanks to Pixabay and many thanks to beauty_of_nature for the social photo, Daniel K. For the cover photo and then in order of insertion Thomas, beauty_of_nature, JA2020, Martin Hetto, Lenny Löwenstern, WikimediaImages, locatelliitalo, Mona, AP33 , Ellen Chan and Tatjana for the closing photo.