Thornless Cockspur Hawthorn

Crataegus crus-galli var. inermis

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Crataegus (krah-TEE-gus) (Info)
Species: crus-galli var. inermis



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Seed is poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From woody stem cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Morrilton, Arkansas

San Bruno, California

Waukegan, Illinois

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Plattsmouth, Nebraska

Columbus, Ohio

Menasha, Wisconsin

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 22, 2014, chris_h from Waukegan, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is a beautiful tree when it's healthy. But this was my third year and it's way too much trouble to keep this tree looking good all season here in northeastern Illinois. The first year it developed a horrifying case of cedar rust. Every single berry was covered with orange tube like growths. The second year we sprayed with the recommended fungicide several times. It was much better that year with only a slight damage. This year we forgot to begin spraying until we noticed the first appearance of the rust. Spraying every two weeks did control the spread of the rust fairly well but the berries are stunted and many have hardened and blackened. In July we began to notice a few leaves turning bright yellow. As we examined the tree closely we found masses of white mealy bugs (actual... read more


On Dec 6, 2010, pastapicker from Columbus, OH wrote:

I've not been able to control the cedar-quince rust on my 2 trees, despite good sanitation and spraying, so they have failed to provide the decorative and bird-friendly reasons that I planted them. Eastern red cedar is very common here in the wild; I suppose that is a large part of the reason for no control. There are many hawthorns in the downtown area of my city that don't seem to have this problem; their red berries in winter are spectacular. I've not been able to find out what cultivar they are--the city doesn't know.

My 2 specimens have also produced thorned branches and one of them tends to sucker from the base.

Edited to add: I gave myself 2 years of being maximally aggressive to control the rust -- spraying early and frequently with 3 different pr... read more


On May 19, 2008, jackieelliemae from Plattsmouth, NE wrote:

I love the look of this small tree; however the cedar apple rust is of concern to me. Does anyone know how to appropriately spray for control? I'm in an area with lots of naturalized cedars.


On Apr 4, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

Becoming more commonly planted. During winter its branch patterns tell it apart from crabapples and other Apple Family members. Have no thorns - the standard species have 3 inches long thorns.


On Dec 11, 2005, bigcityal from Menasha, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

Very nice dark green waxy leaves. Flowering is fair - not as much as crabapples. Leaf miner and cedar apple rust common. Nice horizontal sort of oriental appeal to the tree.