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Thornless cockspur hawthorn

Flowers and thornless stems of thornless cockspur hawthorn.

This variety of cockspur hawthorn has thornless stems. It displays beautiful white flowers in spring and persistent fruit in fall and winter.

Botanical name:

Crataegus crus-galli var. inermis

All common names:

thornless cockspur hawthorn

Family (English):


Family (Botanic):


Planting Site:

  • Residential and parks,
  • City parkway,
  • Wide median

Tree or Plant Type:

  • Tree


  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)

Native Locale:

  • Chicago area,
  • Illinois,
  • North America

Landscape Uses:

  • Parkway/street,
  • Shade tree,
  • Specimen

Size Range:

  • medium tree (25-40 feet),
  • Small tree (15-25 feet)

Mature Height:

20-30 feet

Mature Width:

20-35 feet

Light Exposure:

  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 3,
  • Zone 4,
  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7

Soil Preference:

  • Moist, well-drained soil


  • Dry sites,
  • Wet sites,
  • Alkaline soil,
  • Clay soil,
  • Road salt

Acid Soils:

  • Tolerant

Alkaline Soils:

  • Tolerant

Salt Spray:

  • Tolerant

Soil Salt:

  • Moderately Tolerant

Drought Conditions:

  • Tolerant

Poor Drainage:

  • Moderately Tolerant

Ornamental Interest:

  • Spring blossoms,
  • Fall color,
  • Persistent fruit/seeds,
  • Showy fruit,
  • Showy flowers

Seasons of Interest:

  • early winter,
  • midwinter,
  • early spring,
  • mid spring,
  • late spring,
  • late summer,
  • early fall,
  • mid fall,
  • late fall

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • White

Shape or Form:

  • Broad,
  • Round

Growth Rate:

  • Moderate

Transplants Well:

  • No


  • Game birds,
  • Migrant birds,
  • Nesting birds,
  • Songbirds

More Information:

Tree & Plant Care

Site this tree in front of evergreens for winter effect.

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

This is a variety of a native species.

Bark color and texture 

Bark is rough and slightly shaggy with age.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Simple, alternate leaves, 1 to 4 inches long;  dark, glossy green; rounded at the tip and narrow at the base.
Fall color is purplish.

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).

Location of Crataegus crus-galli var. inermis (Thornless cockspur hawthorn) at the Arboretum