Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Green Hawthorn, Southern Hawthorn
Crataegus viridis 'Winter King'

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Crataegus (krah-TEE-gus) (Info)
Species: viridis (VEER-ih-diss) (Info)
Cultivar: Winter King

Synonym:Crataegus viridis var. ovata

One vendor has this plant for sale.

2 members have or want this plant for trade.


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

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)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Seed is poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

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:
By grafting
By budding

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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There are a total of 28 photos.
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5 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive janelp_lee On Mar 19, 2015, janelp_lee from Toronto, ON (Zone 6a) wrote:

It is able to germinate the seeds by the way, just not as easy...

Here in Ontario, Canada its fall red/purple foliage and orange red berries are excellent view! Plants with long thorns should be trimmed. Very easy to grow in full sun to partial shade location for winter interest. The orange red berries hang on the branches through out the winter very well.

Positive coriaceous On Feb 25, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

One of the best hawthorns, and one of the best trees for winter color. It fruits heavily, and the red fruit is very showy. This is one of the few red-fruited trees whose fruit usually holds up well through most of the winter. Usually the birds hold off till spring approaches.

I find the white June flowers malodorous, with unpleasant fishy overtones. A bit like callery pear.

This tree is fairly weak-wooded, and I see a lot of trees in this area with major snow damage. Fortunately, it generally seems to re-grow fairly well even after major damage.

This tree is spiny, though less so than many hawthorns---place it where the thorns won't bother passers-by.

Dirr says that in eastern N. America it's hardy in Z4-7.

Positive Rickwebb On Jan 11, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

It is a handsome small tree with a number of good characteristics of lovely foliage, fall color, flowers, fruit, bark, and form. It is mostly planted from landscape architects and designers, as most of the gardening public still does not really know this plant. It is realively new to the market and I mostly see young trees planted with in the last 10 years. It grows about 1.5 ft/yr as many trees do. My concern is that this lovely cultivar is the only one I've seen all over the place. More cultivars and the straight species from seed reproduction should also be used for more genetic diversity in case of some new disease, pest, or condition come along.

Neutral kayaker On Jan 28, 2005, kayaker from Milton, VT (Zone 4a) wrote:

It is unclear whether or not the seeds need to be scarified in acid for 2-3 hours if the endocarp seems excessively tough, this practice is recommended. Seeds should then undergo warm stratification (77F) for 120 days, followed by 135 days at 41F. However, this may not produce true-to-type stock, so budding onto seedling understock is the most common method of propagation.

Positive smiln32 On Nov 11, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Autumn foliage is spectacular - gold with red and purple highlights. Fruits red-orange and are wonderful for winter interest and the bark is amazing. It peels (kind of looks like a scroll) on the trunk and larger branches.

Seed propagation may not prove true to the parent, so grafting is probably the best route.

Can be planted in the city as pollution doesn't seem to bother it.

Positive Terry On Aug 30, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Arguably one of the best Hawthorns for the landscape, this cultivar is nearly spineless, and its gray bark (sometimes revealing orange-brown inner bark on mature specimens) provides winter interest. The bright red, crabapple-like fruit helps provide food for the birds during the coldest months.


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

Parkville, Maryland
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Asheville, North Carolina
Cincinnati, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Wytheville, Virginia

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