Crataegus pinnatifida (Chinese Hawthorn) is a deciduous tree or large shrub that belongs to the Rosaceae family. Chinese Hawthorn typically grows to a height of 5-8 meters (16-26 feet) and has a rounded crown with dense branches. The leaves are pinnately lobed, giving them a feathery or fern-like appearance. They are typically dark green and turn shades of yellow, orange, or red in the fall.
Flowers: In late spring or early summer, Chinese Hawthorn produces clusters of small, white flowers. The flowers have five petals and are often fragrant. They attract pollinators, such as bees and butterflies.
Fruits: Following the flowers, Chinese Hawthorn produces small, round fruits called haws. The haws are typically bright red or orange and have a tart or slightly sour flavor. They are rich in vitamin C and are used in traditional Chinese cuisine and herbal medicine. Chinese Hawthorn fruits are commonly used to make jams, jellies, sauces, and herbal teas.
Landscape Use: Chinese Hawthorn is valued for its ornamental qualities, edible fruits, and cultural significance. It can be planted as a specimen tree, in hedgerows, or in mixed borders. The attractive flowers, colorful fruits, and interesting foliage make it visually appealing in landscapes.
Growing Conditions: Chinese Hawthorn prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. It is tolerant of a range of soil types, including sandy, loamy, or clay soils. It is relatively adaptable and can tolerate both dry and moist conditions. Once established, it is generally low-maintenance and requires minimal pruning.
Cultural Significance: Chinese Hawthorn has cultural and historical significance in China. The fruits have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries and are associated with various health benefits. Chinese Hawthorn is also a popular ingredient in traditional Chinese cuisine, particularly in dishes such as hawthorn-based sauces, candies, and herbal teas.
Crataegus pinnatifida, the Chinese Hawthorn, is a versatile tree or shrub that offers both ornamental and culinary value. With its attractive flowers, tart fruits, and cultural significance, it is a popular choice for those interested in incorporating traditional Chinese elements into their gardens or exploring the culinary uses of the plant.