Crataegus crus-galli (Cockspur Hawthorn)

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

While this native* member of the Rose Family is found naturally in clearings, glades, woodland borders, and roadsides, it is a tough, adaptable tree that does well in urban settings. Its name refers to its long spines, which are said to resemble the spurs of a cock.

*In the Mid-Atlantic Region, it is present in northern counties, common in mountains, and infrequent elsewhere in VA. It is native to DC and parts of MD, DE, and PA.

Print Version (Legal Size): Crataegus crus-galli (Cockspur Hawthorn)

Height: 20–35 feet Spread: 25–35 feet Bloom Color: Creamy white Characteristics Small deciduous tree with rounded form, short, stout trunk and horizontal, thorny branches. Shiny, dark green, spoon-shaped leaves; orange to scarlet fall foliage. Flat clusters of fragrant, creamy white flowers from May to June. Small red pomes in fall persist into winter. Spreads by suckers to form thickets. Tolerates drought and pollution. Susceptible to rust and insect damage. Deer occasionally browse young twigs and leaves. Attracts songbirds, native bees, and mammals for cover, nesting material, nectar, and fruit; host plant for multiple butterflies. Soil Requirements: Average, Well-drained. Light Requirements: Sun. Water Requirements: Moist. Prune in winter or early spring. Plant away from cedar to avoid rust diseases. Use as an ornamental accent or barrier hedge or for erosion control on slopes. In the Mid-Atlantic Region, it is present in northern counties, common in mountains, and infrequent elsewhere in VA. It is native to DC and parts of MD, DE, and PA. Hardiness: USDA Zones 4–7 Excellent Replacement for Pyrus calleryana (Callery Pear) Morus alba (White Mulberry)

Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets