Shrub or small tree to 6 m (18 ft) tall. Crown broad, but irregular and open. Bark gray and thickly furrowed. Twigs reddish brown when young, graying with age, densely hairy, becoming glabrous. Spines about 4 cm (1.6 in) long. Leaves alternate, simple, elliptic to ovate, 5-11 cm (2-4.4 in) long, 2.5 - 7.5 cm (1-3 in) wide, often with 3-5 pairs of irregular lobes near the base, pubescent beneath, dull yellow-green with sunken veins above. Petioles stout, occasionally winged and with small glands. Flowers in corymbs, villose to tomentose, numerous, 1-1.6 cm (0.4-0.6 in) long; calyx tube pubescent, glandular-serrate or pectinate; petals 5, white; calyx 5 lobes; stamens 20, anthers white or rarely pink; flowers appear May to June. Fruits pomes, 0.8 cm (0.3 in), pear-shaped to globose, orange red; nutlets 2-3, pitted on the surface, matures in late summer.
Distribution: Ontario and New York, south to Georgia and west to eastern Texas and Oklahoma, north to Minnesota. Rare in Oklahoma.
Habitat : small rocky streams and moist, lowland soils.
Comments: Crataegus is from the Greek meaning "flowering thorn"; calpodendron, means urn tree, a reference to the fruit shape.
Field identification: the urn shaped fruit readily distinguish red haw from other hawthorns.
Wildlife benefits: In general, the fruits of hawthorn species are eaten by several species of birds. The dense branching patterns supply shelter.
NWI status: none
Distribution in Oklahoma: There are no specimens in the Bebb Herbarium, but it has been reported from eastern Oklahoma.
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Last update: 9/9/99
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