A large hawthorn worth growing for its edible fruit as well as for its ornamental attributes, this medium-sized deciduous tree from eastern North America has long been a favorite in gardens. Broad and domed in habit, it bears relatively large, oval, deeply toothed leaves that change from downy-gray when new to medium green in late spring to yellow or bronze in fall. The foliage is often marred by rust. Dense clusters of small white somewhat fetid flowers open in spring, giving rise to bunches of spherical to pear-shaped fruits that ripen bright red in late summer. The fruits soon drop from the tree. The gray horizontal to slightly ascending branches are sometimes spiny.
Downy hawthorn may escape gardens by self-sowing. (info source: Learn2Grow.com)
Genus - Crataegus
Species - Mollis
Common name - Downy Hawthorn
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 3 - 6
Height - 1-9 m
Spread - 1-12 m
Plant type - Shrubs, Trees
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Exposure - Full Sun
Growth rate - Medium
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral
Soil type - Clay, Loam, Sand, Well Drained
Water requirements - Average Water
Care level - Easy
Landscape uses - Edible, Fruit / Fruit Tree, Shade Trees, hedge shrub
Germination rate - 85%
Bloom season - Spring, early summer
Leaf / Flower color - Green, autumn - Yellow, Burgundy, Bronze / White
|1. Wrap the hawthorn seeds in a moistened paper towel. Place the paper towel inside a sealable plastic bag. Store the seeds this way for 90 days inside a refrigerator to cold-stratify them.
2. Fill a 1-gallon plastic pot with a mixture of equal measures potting soil and compost. Sow two hawthorn seeds in the pot to a depth of 1/4 inch. Water the pot to a depth of 1 inch.
3. Place the pot outdoors, either against a south-facing wall or in a cold frame, where they will be exposed to normal outdoor temperature fluctuations and precipitation.
4. Water the hawthorn seeds only during extended periods of dry weather to keep the soil moist, at a depth of 1 inch. Avoid overwatering the hawthorn seeds since they might rot.
5. Check the pot periodically to ensure no birds or rodents have taken the hawthorn seeds. Place mesh over the top of the pot if it appears that creatures are foraging for the seeds.
6. Watch for signs of germination starting 18 months after sowing. Thin the hawthorn seedlings once they reach 2 inches in height. Remove the less vigorous of the two seedlings.
7. Keep the hawthorn seedling in the pot with evenly moist soil until it reaches 12 inches in height, then plant it in a permanent bed with partial sun. (source: eHow.com)