Washington Hawthorn

Crataegus phaenopyrum

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Crataegus (krah-TEE-gus) (Info)
Species: phaenopyrum (fay-no-PY-rum) (Info)
Synonym:Crataegus cordata
Synonym:Crataegus populifolia
Synonym:Crataegus youngii



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

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

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


20-30 ft. (6-9 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)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 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:

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:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:

Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing


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

Prattville, Alabama

Booneville, Arkansas

Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas

Aurora, Colorado

Lockport, Illinois

Machesney Park, Illinois

Wheaton, Illinois

Carmel, Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana

Terre Haute, Indiana

Barbourville, Kentucky

Gobles, Michigan

Ypsilanti, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Natchez, Mississippi

Aurora, Missouri

Joplin, Missouri

Whitehouse Station, New Jersey

West Fulton, New York

Haviland, Ohio

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Irmo, South Carolina

Lexington, South Carolina

Vermillion, South Dakota

Houston, Texas

Temperanceville, Virginia

Spokane, Washington

Falling Waters, West Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 28, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

For decades it has been the most popular hawthorn grown by nurseries in the Midwest and East. The Cockspur has been second. Since the turn of the century of 20th to 21st, the Winter King Green Hawthorn might eventually surpass this species in planting. The Washington species has significant thorns, but they are not bad, borne more on younger growth. It has great reddish fall color, nice white flower clusters in May, nice dark, shiny green, maple-like leaves, and bears lots of the scarlet berries borne from late September until the following April; Cedar Waxwings and other birds eat the fruit usually in March-April. It does not experience Cedar Rust Disease much as many American species of hawthorns can.


On Oct 2, 2010, rabbitsdiner from Carmel, IN wrote:

This tree is not without its faults. Sturdy soles on shoes are a must as it drops wicked thorns. The galls on it's stems are noticeable some years. Trim it back if they get too bad. It's an attractive tree with white flowers in spring and bright red berries in fall. Best of all; it is a magnet for birds. Mine is frequented by robins, blue jays and cardinals. While 2-4 cardinals are common, one amazing day I counted 12 in it at one time! On snowy winter days it looks like a Christmas card when brilliant red cardinals grace its snowy branches. And on bleak winter days, the sight of the colorful birds brings so much cheer. Plant one close enough to a window to afford yourself the best views (remembering that they get 20+ ft. wide.) Delightful!


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

One of the least common grown of the two commonly planted species of Hawthorn here in Minnesota. Its lobed leaves gaves it away as Washington Hawthorn while Crataegus crus-galli have non lobed leaves but comes in two variety - thorned and non thorned. The only difference into telling this species from other flowering small trees like Prunus, Malus, and other member of the Apple family is by the branching pattern which is distinct and look almost regular. It also doesn't grow rapidly, creating thick short branches over time. To contract the above statement, there is very few heavily flowering tree that is not immune to at least one major disease or have galls or spots. White Fringetree is a example of the few heavily flowering tree that doesn't get major diseases for zone 4 but prefer acidi... read more


On Feb 21, 2008, mamooth from Indianapolis, IN (Zone 5b) wrote:

I tried to grow these from seedlings, but gave up due to persistent unsightly fungus infections. It was "Quince rust" or "Cedar-quince rust". Removing the infected branches doesn't help, because the fungus lives on juniper as an alternate host, and the spores blow over and re-infect the Hawthornes. Regular fungicide spraying will keep it at bay, but I saw no need to sign on for a lifetime of that. There are many other small flowering trees without a fungus problem, so use one of them instead.


On Oct 7, 2005, evamanko from Glen Mills, PA wrote:

I live in the Philadelphia area and we have great success with the winter King Hawthorn. It makes quite a show in winter. Longwood Gardens in Kennet Square,PA has a most beautiful stand of these trees which are a treat to see in the snow.


On Jun 21, 2005, zsnp from Pensacola, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

The red berries can be eaten raw. (The seeds inside the berries are not edible.) Hawthorn berry is good for the heart. Throughout Europe, Hawthorn berry is recognized as a safe and effective treatment for the early stages of congestive heart failure.


On Aug 22, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Prefers moist, well-drained soils in full sun, but is tolerant of poor soils, various soil pHs, compacted soils, drought, heat, and Winter salt spray. Great ornamental attributes for each season of the year.

Crataegus translates as "strength", referring to its wood strength - phaenopyrum translates as "with the appearance of a pear", possibly referring to its pendulous branches when weighted down with ripe fruits, that somewhat resemble the strained appearance of pear tree branches


On Aug 19, 2001, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

White flowers in early June start the color show. Reddish-purple leaves turn dark green, then orange, scarlet or purple. Small, glossy red fruits stay on tree into winter, and are preferred by songbirds. Grows to 25'to 30',25' spread.