TREES & plants

Washington hawthorn

Leaves and fruit of Washington hawthorn.

Washington hawthorn is one of the commonly planted hawthorn species. It has the typical white flowers, followed by red fruit that persist into winter. This species is fairly thorny and is prone to the cedar-rust diseases.

Botanical name: 
Crataegus phaenopyrum
All Common Names: 
Washington hawthorn
Family (English): 
Family (Botanic): 
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Tree
  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
Native Locale: 
  • Illinois, 
  • North America
Planting Site: 
  • Residential and parks, 
  • City parkway, 
  • Wide median
Landscape Uses: 
  • Specimen, 
  • Shade tree, 
  • Parkway/street
Size Range: 
  • Medium tree (25-40 feet)
Mature Height: 
25-30 feet
Mature Width: 
20-25 feet
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 3, 
  • Zone 4, 
  • Zone 5 (Chicago), 
  • Zone 6, 
  • Zone 7, 
  • Zone 8
Soil Preference: 
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Acid Soils: 
  • Tolerant
Alkaline Soils: 
  • Tolerant
Salt Spray: 
  • Intolerant
Soil Salt: 
  • Moderately Tolerant
Drought Conditions: 
  • Tolerant
Poor Drainage: 
  • Moderately Tolerant
Planting Considerations: 
  • Dangerous thorns
Ornamental Interest: 
  • Spring blossoms, 
  • Fall color, 
  • Persistent fruit/seeds, 
  • Showy flowers
Season of Interest: 
  • Mid spring, 
  • Late summer, 
  • Early fall, 
  • Mid fall
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • White
Shape or Form: 
  • Oval, 
  • Round
Growth Rate: 
  • Moderate
Transplants Well: 
  • Yes
  • Game birds, 
  • Migrant birds, 
  • Songbirds
More Information: 

Tree & Plant Care

Site this tree in front of evergreens for winter effect.
This tree is thorny 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


Bark color and texture 

Bark is rough and slightly shaggy with age.
This plant has thorns on the stems.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Simple, alternate leaves, 1 to 3 inches long;  3 to 5 lobed and triangular in shape overall; toothed margins.
Leaves are dark green in summer, changing to red or purple in fall.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

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

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

This tree yields persistent red fruits (pomes).



Crataegus phaenopyrum or Washington hawthorn