Crataegus chrysocarpa (Round-leaved Hawthorn) - photos and description


Some leaves have teeth tipped with small, brown glands.

General: Shrub or small tree with long thorns, we measured thorns to 6 cm long. New (green) stems sticky to touch. Not my favourite plant... bushwacking is just awful when you hike into a thicket of these shrubs with 5 cm thorns.

Flowers: Flowers white growing in flat-topped racemes. We measured a flower at 14 mm diameter. Flowers have an unpleasant scent.

Leaves: Leaves more or less round, somewhat lobed, the edges serrate. Leaf highlighted in photo above was 35 mm long by 37 mm wide. Leaves have teeth tipped with small, brown glands. In the field, with a good loupe, we were only able to observe the glands on about 50% of leaves. Leaf tops with long hairs, leaf bottoms less hairy with long hairs on nerves.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 3 m. We measured plants to 2.2 m tall.

Habitat: Coulees, stream banks, and open woods.

Abundance: Common.

Origin: Native.

Synonym: Listed in some of the field guides we use as Crataegus rotundifolia.

Similar species: There are two other species of Crataegus native to Saskatchewan.

    - C. douglasii is very rare (with a scarcity ranking of S2), can be distinguished by having shorter thorns - only 2-3 cm in length (Taxonomic Reminder for Recognizing Saskatchewan Plants), and leaf undersides which are nearly glabrous (Flora of Alberta), this species can be found in the Cypress Hills.

    - C. succulenta is extremely rare (with a scarcity ranking of S1), is very similar to C. chrysocarpa, can be distinguished with teeth of leaves not gland-tipped (Budd's Flora), and leaves widest above the middle while leaves of C. chrysocarpa are widest below the middle (U of S Fraser Herbarium Crataegus Key for Species Found in Saskatchewan). When viewing a specimen in the Fraser herbarium, presence/absence of glands on leaf margins of C. succulenta was only apparent when viewed under a microscope. The herbarium has only 1 specimen of C. succulenta in its collection, collected in the extreme southeast of Saskatchewan near Oxbow.

When and where photographed: The above photos were taken May 22nd, on a prairie hillside, and in a shrubby thicket, Buffalo Pound Provincial Park, about 70 km west of our home in Regina, SK.