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Edible uses


Fruit - raw or cooked. There are three distinct sizes of fruit on this tree, though they all have the same flavour[K]. The first is quite large, up to 35mm in diameter, and is just like the medlar, Mespilus germanica. The second is slightly smaller, perhaps 25mm in diameter, and once more like a medlar. The third is rather smaller, perhaps 10mm in diameter, and is intermediate between the medlar and the hawthorn, Crataegus spp. The fruit does not ripen until very late in the autumn, or even early winter. It will probably need to be harvested before it is fully ripe and stored in a cool but frost-free place where it can continue the ripening process. It is ready to eat when the flesh has turned brown and is very soft. It will then have a delicious, sweet flavour that reminds you of a lush tropical fruit. Care must be taken that the fruit is eaten no later than this stage because it is almost at the point of rotting and will can then cause gastric upsets[K].


Material uses

There are no material uses listed for Crataegomespilus dardarii.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

There are no medicinal uses listed for Crataegomespilus dardarii.


Ecosystem niche/layer

Secondary canopy

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Seed - this species is a bi-generic graft hybrid and is very unlikely to breed true from seed. Should you want to give it a try, then the seed is best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Some of the seed will germinate in the spring, though most will probably take another year. Stored seed can be very slow and erratic to germinate, it should be stratified for 3 months at 15°c and then for another 3 months at 4°c[1]. It may still take another 18 months to germinate[2]. Scarifying the seed before stratifying it might reduce this time[3]. Fermenting the seed for a few days in its own pulp may also speed up the germination process[K]. Another possibility is to harvest the seed 'green' (as soon as the embryo has fully developed but before the seedcoat hardens) and sow it immediately in a cold frame. If timed well, it can germinate in the spring[3]. If you are only growing small quantities of plants, it is best to pot up the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in individual pots for their first year, planting them out in late spring into nursery beds or their final positions. When growing larger quantities, it might be best to sow them directly outdoors in a seedbed, but with protection from mice and other seed-eating creatures. Grow them on in the seedbed until large enough to plant out, but undercut the roots if they are to be left undisturbed for more than two years. Grafting onto a rootstock of hawthorn, Crataegus species.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Crataegomespilus dardarii. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Prefers a well-drained, moisture-retentive soil enriched with organic matter, in sun or part shade[4].

Plants are hardy to about -15°c[4]. This tree is a bi-generic graft chimera resulting from a medlar, Mespilus germanica, being grafted on a hawthorn, Crataegus sp.[5]. Three branches that grew from just beneath the graft were different from each other and also from either of the two species used in the graft. They showed characteristics intermediate between the hawthorn and the medlar[5]. These three forms have been propagated and, in growth, each form tends to produce some branches of the other forms[5].

    The first branch that was propagated has received specific status as C. dardarii. This is closer to the medlar than the hawthorn, but produces its flowers in clusters like the hawthorn - the fruits are medlar-like but a bit smaller. This tree also produces some branches that are pure medlar[5].
    The second branch has cultivar status as 'Jules d'Asnieres'. This is more hawthorn-like, and produces some hawthorn-like spines. It produces fruit that is more hawthorn in size[5].
The third branch, which does not seem to have been named, started off like a pure hawthorn, but towards its extremity changed into the cultivar 'Jules d'Asnieres'[5].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Crataegomespilus dardarii. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Crataegomespilus dardarii.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Crataegomespilus dardarii
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    Flower Colour
    Flower Type


    1. ? Bird. R. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 4. Thompson and Morgan. (1990-00-00)
    2. ? Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.1 McMillan-Browse. P. Hardy Woody Plants from Seed. Grower Books ISBN 0-901361-21-6 (1985-00-00)
    4. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    5. ? Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)