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TREES & plants

Dotted hawthorn

Dotted hawthorn in full flower.

Dotted hawthorn is named for its fruit which are red with white specks. This species has thorns that are up to three inches in length. Dotted hawthorn is very susceptible to the cedar rust diseases.  Not commonly found in the nursery trade. 

This species is native to the Chicago region according to Swink and Wilhelm's Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research.  

Botanical name: 
Crataegus punctata
All Common Names: 
dotted hawthorn
Family (English): 
Rose
Family (Botanic): 
Rosaceae
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Tree
Foliage: 
  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
Native Locale: 
  • Chicago area, 
  • Illinois, 
  • North America
Planting Site: 
  • Residential and parks, 
  • Wide median
Landscape Uses: 
  • Shade tree, 
  • Specimen
Size Range: 
  • Medium tree (25-40 feet), 
  • Small tree (15-25 feet)
Mature Height: 
20-30 feet
Mature Width: 
20-40 feet
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 4, 
  • Zone 5 (Chicago), 
  • Zone 6, 
  • Zone 7
Soil Preference: 
  • Alkaline soil, 
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Acid Soils: 
  • Tolerant
Alkaline Soils: 
  • Tolerant
Salt Spray: 
  • Intolerant
Soil Salt: 
  • Intolerant
Drought Conditions: 
  • Tolerant
Poor Drainage: 
  • Tolerant
Planting Considerations: 
  • Dangerous thorns, 
  • May be difficult to find in nurseries
Ornamental Interest: 
  • Spring blossoms, 
  • Persistent fruit/seeds, 
  • Showy fruit, 
  • Showy flowers
Season of Interest: 
  • Mid spring, 
  • Late spring, 
  • Late summer, 
  • Early fall, 
  • Mid fall, 
  • Late fall
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • White
Shape or Form: 
  • Broad
Growth Rate: 
  • Moderate
Transplants Well: 
  • No
Wildlife: 
  • Migrant birds
More Information: 

Tree & Plant Care

Site this tree in front of evergreens for winter effect.
This tree has very long thorns and should be sited carefully.

Disease, pests, and problems

Cedar rust diseases, fireblight, leaf spots, scale and mites.

Disease, pest, and problem resistance

Tolerant of black walnut toxicity.

Native geographic location and habitat

C-Value: 2

Native to Illinois; commonly found in wet, lowland areas.

Bark color and texture 

Bark is silvery gray, realtively smooth when young, becoming slightly platy or shaggy.
This plant has long thorns on the stems.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Simple, alternate leaves;  dull, gray-green; elliptical with toothed margins.
Fall color is orange-red.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Flowers are unpleasantly scented; small creamy white flowers in broad, flat clusters; late spring.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

This tree yields persistent red fruits (pomes) that are speckled with white.  Larger than fruit of other hawthorns.

 

 

Crataegus punctata or Dotted hawthorn