Fruit - raw or cooked. An excellent dessert fruit, it has an acid yet sweet flavour, is juicy but with a mealy texture, it makes very pleasant eating[K]. Some forms have fruits with a disagreeable flavour
. The fruit can also be used in making pies, preserves etc, and can be dried for later use. The fruit is about 10mm in diameter
. A specimen at Cambridge Botanical garden has fruits up to 20mm in diameter[K]. There are up to five fairly large seeds in the centre of the fruit, these often stick together and so the effect is of eating a cherry-like fruit with a single seed[K].
Wood - heavy, hard, tough, close-grained. Useful for making tool handles, mallets and other small items
There are no material uses listed for Crataegus holmesiana.
Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, the fruits and flowers of many hawthorns are well-known in herbal folk medicine as a heart tonic and modern research has borne out this use. The fruits and flowers have a hypotensive effect as well as acting as a direct and mild heart tonic
. They are especially indicated in the treatment of weak heart combined with high blood pressure
. Prolonged use is necessary for it to be efficacious
. It is normally used either as a tea or a tincture
Seed - this 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 warm stratified for 3 months at 15°c and then cold stratified for another 3 months at 4°c
. It may still take another 18 months to germinate
. Scarifying the seed before stratifying it might reduce this time
. 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
. 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.
Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Crataegus holmesiana. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.
A very easily grown plant, it prefers a well-drained moisture retentive loamy soil but is not at all fussy
. Once established, it succeeds in excessively moist soils and also tolerates drought
. It grows well on a chalk soil and also in heavy clay soils
. A position in full sun is best when plants are being grown for their fruit, they also succeed in semi-shade though fruit yields and quality will be lower in such a position
. Most members of this genus succeed in exposed positions, they also tolerate atmospheric pollution
Hawthorns in general hybridize freely with other members of the genus.
Seedling trees take from 5 - 8 years before they start bearing fruit, though grafted trees will often flower heavily in their third year[K].
The flowers have a foetid smell somewhat like decaying fish. This attracts midges which are the main means of fertilization. When freshly open, the flowers have more pleasant scent with balsamic undertones.
Seedlings should not be left in a seedbed for more than 2 years without being transplanted.
A very ornamental plant
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
There are no interactions listed for Crataegus holmesiana. 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 Crataegus holmesiana.
This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
Material uses & Functions
Native Climate Zones
Adapted Climate Zones
Native Geographical Range
Root Zone Tendancy
? 1.01.11.21.3 Sargent. C. S. Manual of the Trees of N. America. Dover Publications Inc. New York. ISBN 0-486-20278-X (1965-00-00)
? 2.02.12.22.188.8.131.52.72.8 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
? 3.03.13.23.33.4 Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
? Bird. R. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 4. Thompson and Morgan. (1990-00-00)
? Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
? 6.06.1 McMillan-Browse. P. Hardy Woody Plants from Seed. Grower Books ISBN 0-901361-21-6 (1985-00-00)
? 7.07.17.27.37.4 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
? Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (1994-00-00)
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