Ardagh Village Landscapes
Ardagh, Co. Longford, Ireland

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Common Hawthorn

Crategas monogyna

This native rounded deciduous tree with numerous thorns and broadly ovate to diamond-shaped deeply 3-7 lobed, glossy green leaves up to 2 inches long. A tree in full flower in May is a wonderful sight and is equal to any of the foreign species. In autumn its branches are often laden with red fruits- haws. The flowers are white and strongly fragrant and are arranged in flat corymbs of 6 –12.

The ripening berries or haws provide nourishing food for many species of birds and mammals including foxes. In many hedges, the hawthorn is the commonest representative of the rose family. It makes and excellent hedging plant providing and impenetrable barrier to farm animals.

At a time where we are concerned about our environment and the importance of protecting habitats, it is of urgent importance to retain existing native species, but also to create and plant native species to build new habitats which will develop over time to sustain many other species.

The hawthorn will grow well on most soil but not waterlogged conditions.

Common Hawthorn with haws (berries)

 

 

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