Family: Rosaceae

This tree is most easily recognized by the slender needle-like spines. There are several native species of hawthorns, and species-level identification can sometimes be difficult. There are also many ornamental and cultivated varieties of hawthorn that are used in residential landscaping.


The hawthorn tree produces pretty white flowers in the spring and small red berry-like fruits in the fall.  The fruits are edible, but the seeds contain cyanide and should not be eaten.  So if you eat the fruits, you should spit out the seeds. This tree is considered to be good for wildlife, and the berries are eaten by birds.

Additional References:



LEARN MORE  about the Woods on the Ariel-Foundation Park main site!


A special thanks to the students of the Field Botany class at Mount Vernon Nazarene University who wrote the reports on the various kinds of trees found in The Woods. These students include Chandler Cook, Grace Hall, Emily Kauble, Keith Kitchen, Madison Lotz, Kevin Maurer, Christina Norcross, Caroline Phillips, Dakoda Ramsey, Jacob Schott, Emily Smith, and Katelyn Stone.

All photos linked in this Learning Station courtesy of D. Mosher, Mount Vernon Nazarene University.

Appendix I

Plant surveys were done by the Field Botany class at Mount Vernon Nazarene University during the fall semester of 2016.  A summary of the class surveys for woody plants and herbaceous plants is available.