E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Crataegus monogyna Jacq.
common hawthorn (oneseed hawthorn)
Rosaceae (Rose family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Kevin Newell  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #5150)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Crataegus monogyna
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Crataegus monogyna var. monogyna


Common hawthorn is an introduced invasive shrub or small tree that originates in Europe, west Asia and North Africa (Phipps 1998). It was introduced as a garden plant in North America and is now present in western and eastern regions of the continent (USA: AK, AR, CA, CT, DC, DE, IL, KY, MA, ME, MI, MT, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, TN, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, CAN: BC, NB, NS, ON, PE, QC) (USDA 2010). In BC, common hawthorn is found on southeastern Vancouver Island and the southwestern corner of the mainland, with a few reports from the north coast and the Queen Charlotte Islands. It is frequently encountered in the Fraser delta and is invasive in Garry oak ecosystems on Vancouver Island where it can replace open sites with a dense shrub layer (GOERT 2002). It is locally common at Salmon Arm and Castlegar with sporadic occurrences elsewhere inland (Phipps 1998).

This is generally an easily recognized medium to tall shrub species with distinctive simple lobed leaves, short stout thorns about 1 cm long, white flowers, and red fruit. Morphology can be variable, however, perhaps because of multiple origins and cultivars present in the area (Phipps 1998). The red fruits readily distinguish it from BC's other two species of Crataegus, which are black-fruited, although hybrids with the native black hawthorn (Crataegus douglasii) have been reported (GOERT 2002). The species is readily dispersed by birds.

View a key to the hawthorns of the Pacific Coast (from Alaska to California) (with species notes) by Jim Phipps.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.

Large shrub or small tree 2-10 m tall, with short stout thorns about 1 cm long; twigs greyish to reddish-brown, smooth; bark dark grey-brown, scaly.
Alternate, deciduous, long-stalked, smooth except for patches of hairs on the veins beneath, egg-shaped in outline, the blades 1.5-3.5 cm long, deeply 3- to 7-lobed, the lobes usually reaching more than halfway to the midrib, few-toothed, the veins running to the sinuses as well as to the tips of the lobes.
Berry-like pomes (like miniature apples), globe- to egg-shaped, 8-10 mm long, deep red; stones (nutlets) 1, 1-seeded.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Mid Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Red
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Moist to mesic disturbed places, thickets, forest margins and open forests in the lowland zone; infrequent in SW BC, rare inland and north along the coast; introduced from Europe.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Crataegus monogyna

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 70 70 70
Slope Gradient (%) 3 3 3
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
360 360 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
7 7 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: CDF(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Crataegus curvisepala auct. non Lindm. [misapplied]
Crataegus monogyna var. rosea (Willd.) K. Koch
Crataegus oxyacantha auct. non L. [misapplied]
Crataegus oxyacantha var. paulii (Rehd.) Rehd.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

Species References

GOERT. 2002. English Hawthorn page. Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team, Web site. Available Online.

Phipps, J. B. 1998. Introduction to the red-fruited hawthorns (Crataegus, Rosaceae) of western North America. Canadian Journal of Botany 76: 1863–1899.

USDA. 2010. Plant profile for Crataegus monogyna. USDA Plants Database. United States Department of Agriculture. Available Online.

General References