dotted hawthorn (Crataegus punctata)
Crataegus collina Chapm. var. secta (Sarg.) Palmer
Crataegus collina Chapm. var. sordida (Sarg.) Palmer
Crataegus collina Chapm. var. succincta (Sarg.) Palmer
Crataegus fastosa Sarg.
Crataegus punctata Jacq. var. aurea Aiton
Crataegus punctata Jacq. var. canescens Britton
Crataegus punctata Jacq. var. microphylla Sarg.
Crataegus verruculosa Sarg.
CONFIRMATION STATUS: Not confirmed.
TAXONOMY: The currently accepted scientific name dotted hawthorn
is Crataegus punctata Jacq.
NATIVE STATUS: Native, United States and Canada.
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERTICS: Dotted hawthorn is a
deciduous large shrub or small tree growing 25—30 feet in height (annual
growth rate of between 12 to 18 inches) and 6 in (15 cm) in diameter. It
has a rounded crown spread up to 25 feet with horizontal spreading
branches, flattened on top. The bark is gray to brown and scaly. Twigs
are brown to gray, hairy when young, with many short and stout thorns
or spines up to 2.5 inches (6.5cm) long. Dotted hawthorn is not as heavily
armed as most hawthorns.
The leaves of dotted hawthorn are alternate, simple, mostly obovate, 2-4
inches (5-10 cm) long and 0.8-2 in (2-5 cm) wide, glabrous above, densely
pubescent along veins beneath when young , dull green with sunken veins
above, paler beneath. The leaf is spatulate in outline, blunt or rounded at
the apex, while the margins are finely serrated except at the base. Leaves
on vigorous shoots are slightly lobed above the middle and dull green in
color. The petiole is short, 0.1 in (3-4 mm) long. Flowers are in corymbs,
pubescent to nearly glabrous, numerous, 0.5-0.8 inches (13-18 mm) wide,
with 5 petals. The flowers are white, with 2-5 styles and 20stamens, pink
or yellow in color. The flowers appear from April to early June. Dotted
hawthorn fruits are pomes, 13-18 mm in diameter, oblong to subglobose
in drooping clusters, deep yellow to dull red with whitish glands. The fruit
matures in autumn and falls early enough to attract bees and yellow jackets
in large numbers.
REGENERATION PROCESSES: Dotted hawthorn reproduces through
seed. It produces white flowers in late spring followed by somewhat pear-
shaped red fruit are red with small dots on them. The fruit drops in late
SITE CHARACTERISTICS: Dotted hawthorn does best in moist soil
along small streams, in floodplains, and forest thickets. It is also found in
open, abandoned pastures or in heavily grazed woodland areas.
SUCCESSIONAL STATUS: Hawthorns in general do best in the early
to mid successional stages (henceforth their prefernce for more open
habitats). They can, however, survive in more mature forest settings,
although their growth habits may be significantly restricted.
SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT: Flowers are borne in May or early
June, after the foliage is expanded. Fruit ripens by October and soon drops.
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION: Dotted hawthorn's native range
begins in the northern regions of the southeastern states (it is absent
from Florida), extends as far west as eastern Oklahoma and Nebraska,
and runs primarily through the Ohio Valley to the Great Lakes. It
follows the Appalachian Mountains north through the Atlantic states,
emcompasses all of New England, southern Quebec, the St. Lawrence
River region, into the maritime provinces of Canada as far north as
SKY MEADOWS DISTRIBUTION:
Tree specimens can be found on trails marked in red.
Appalachian Trail/Old Trail
South Ridge/North Ridge
Rolling Meadows/ Lost Mountain
The specific distribution of dotted hawthorn has not been determined.
Specimens of Genus Crataegus are found throughout most of the park.
HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES: Dotted hawthorn
does well in small riparian habitats (e.g., streams, creeks, and floodplains).
It also does well in disturbed areas, where competition from larger trees is
minimized. American sycamore is one tree which can be found growing
with dotted hawthorn.
IMPORTANCE AND USE: As with most hawthorn species, the fruit
of dotted hawthorn is eaten by several species of birds including cedar
waxwings, fox sparrows, and ruffled grouse. Bees and yellowjackets are
also attracted to dotted hawthorns (and all other hawthorns), as are
rodents. Whitetail deer browse the young twigs and leaves.
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