Crataegus berberifolia Torr. & Gray

  • Family: Rosaceae
  • Common names: barberry hawthorn.

    Large shrub or small tree, spiny, to 3 m (10 ft) in height and 15 cm (6 in) in diameter. Crown broad, flat with spreading branches. Bark light gray, becoming furrowed with age. Twigs brown, slender, with white pubescence when young, glabrous with age; spineless or with slender spines, 2.5-3.8 cm (1-1.5 in) long, red-brown to black. Leaves alternate, simple, oblong-cuneate to spathulate, 3.8-6.4 cm (1.5-2.5 in) long and 1.9-3.2 cm (0.75-1.25 in) wide, coarsely pubescent above, glabrous with age, pubescent beneath, particularly along the veins, firm, dark green above, paler beneath, cuneate at base, rounded or obtuse at apex, serrate above the middle; petioles short, densely villose when youg. Flowers in a corymb, simple or compound; pedicels slender and villose; flowers small, 1-1.5 cm (0.4-0.6 in) wide; calyx-tube obconic, pubescent, sepals 5, slender and pubescent; petals 5, white, oval to obovate, abruptly narrowed; styles 2-3, hairy at the base; stamens 16-20, anthers yellow; flowers appear from March to April. Fruits pome, 1-1.2 cm (0.4-0.5 in) in diameter, subglobose, yellow-orange; 2-3, slightly ridged; fruits mature September to October.

    Distribution: Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas, east to Alabama and Georgia, north to Tennessee. Uncommon to rare in Oklahoma.
    Habitat: bottomlands and moist soils.
    Comments: Crataegus is from the Greek meaning "flowering thorn"; berberifolia refers to the resemblance of the leaves to those of barberry.
    Field identification: Barberry hawthorn very closely resembles cockspur hawthorn (C. crus-galli). However, barberry hawthorn has pubescent stems and inflorescences.
    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:

    Last update: 9/9/99
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