The plant is often used as a rootstock for several species of garden fruit such as the medlar (Mespilus germanica) and the pear (Pyrus communis sativa).Wood - very hard and tough but difficult to work. It has a fine grain and takes a beautiful polish but is seldom large enough to be of great value. It is used for tool handles and making small wooden articles etc. The wood is valued in turning and makes an excellent fuel, giving out a lot of heat, more so even than oak wood. Charcoal made from the wood is said to be able to melt pig iron without the aid of a blast.
The fruit is antispasmodic, cardiac, diuretic, sedative, tonic and vasodilator. Both the fruits and flowers of 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, they are also used to treat a heart muscle weakened by age, for inflammation of the heart muscle, arteriosclerosis and for nervous heart problems. Prolonged use is necessary for the treatment to be efficacious. It is normally used either as a tea or a tincture. Hawthorn is combined with ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) to enhance poor memory, working by improving the blood supply to the brain. The bark is astringent and has been used in the treatment of malaria and other fevers.The roots are said to stimulate the arteries of the heart.
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A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to at least -18°c. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Closely allied to C. monogyna, it often hybridizes with that species in the wild when growing in its proximity. There are many named forms selected for their ornamental value. 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.An important food plant for the larvae of many lepidoptera species.
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
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