Best hawthorn for fruit?

marc_cgn(z7/8 (GER))January 15, 2009

Hello,

originally I was looking for mayhaws but now I found that there are several edible hawthorns (Crataegus arnoldiana, C. ellwangeriana, C. pinnatifida var. major, C. schraderiana etc). Which one do you reckon has the best flavour and is the most productive as fruit tree?

Marc

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Facciola, CORNUCOPIA II - A SOURCE BOOK OF EDIBLE PLANTS (1998, Kampong Publications, Vista) lists

Crataegus aestivalis
C. azarolus
C. douglasii
C. flava
C. marshalli
C. monogyna
C. oxyacantha
C. pinnatifida
C. pubescens
C. succulenta
C. tanacetifolia
C. sp. - Blue Hawthorn (probably C. schraderiana)

The ones with multiple named cultivars selected for fruit production and offered in nurseries are C. aestivalis and C. pinnatifida. This implies they have fruiting characteristics promoting more interest than the others.

A tree being grown as C. azarolus at the University of Washington in Seattle had a pleasant flavor when sampled one year. However, Facciola says that this species does not ripen on the tree in northern areas.

Stock being sold in recent years by Raintree nursery, Morton, WA as C. azarolus is actually C. x lavallei. It appears Hidden Springs nursery, Cookeville, TN has also made this mistake as at least one edition of their catalog included a drawing of C. x lavallei that was supposed to represent C. azarolus. The two are immediately distinguishable as C. azarolus looks like a hairy-leaved version of C. monogyna whereas C. x lavallei produces mostly unlobed or slightly lobed leaves that are smooth and glossy above, on comparatively thick twigs with scattered large, stout thorns.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 3:08PM
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marc_cgn(z7/8 (GER))

Thanks for the excerpt. It lists some species which I hadn't considered so far. However, I already excluded C. azarolus from my plans as I read that the quality of the fruit depends on more summer heat. For C. pinnatifida (var. major) I found several cultivars with large fruits and obviously they are a favourite in China. However, on the internet site "Plants for a Future" (www.pfaf.org) neither C. pinnatifida nor the typical mayhaws (C. aestivalis and C. opaca) were among the best for fruit quality. They said that C. schraderiana and C. arnoldiana would be the best. But obviously C. schraderiana cannot be identified easily. Sometimes it is said to be a subspecies of C. orientalis or a synonym for the latter or even a species of its own. I found a Belgian nursery (demoerbeiboom.be) with a good range of the edible hawthorns. But now it's difficult to decide which one! C. schraderiana seems to be one of the best for flavour but I am not sure about its hardiness as it comes from the Mediterranean. So I tend to go for Arnold's Hawthorn as a first one as the fruit is described as juicy and delicious and it comes from Canada, hence it should be perfectly hardy hereabouts. Good choice?

Marc

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 4:45AM
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robert_2007(5b/6a)

Richard Fahey of the Christian Homestead movement - oxford, ny. 13830 - Says that his hawthorn, "Hearts "Desire has been rated as one of the best tasting Hawthorns ever. I grafted it to some Mayhaw stock two years ago. Still waiting to verify that it is one of the best tasting

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 8:25PM
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mootube(UK 9 - 8b)

C. schraderiana is the only one I've tried so far apart from C. monogyna which doesn't really count on the flavour scale. The trees are hardy here, mine's on a north facing slope and had no problems under a canopy with only 3 or 4 hours of direct morning light a day. The canopy's gone now so it get's a full day's light. It has been slow to grow vertically so is much the same size as I bought it but bushed out and fruited very well in shade, the berries taste being a bit underwhelming off the tree. 1cm around with a large seed(s), sweetish with a nice tang, I would have loved to make a pint of the pulp to drink as that would be far from underwhelming. Better sunlight conditions this year should give the berries more flavour and I might just have enough for a half pint which I'm very much looking forward to.

I think my C. pinnatifida var. major "Big Golden Star" will fruit this year. It shot to ten foot tall and branched high but has yet to fruit. My C. arnoldiana has stayed at 18" tall so It'll be a while before I get fruit. C. ellwangeriana is a possibility this year, the plant never gained much height at 3' and has just bushed out. C. durobrivensis has survived low light conditions in a hedge and has now found it's own light places. It should start growing well and fruit in perhaps 2 years time and C. pedicellata gave a lovely show of flowers the spring after it was planted and died from the top down before it fruited.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 2:11PM
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njbiology

I found a nursery which supplies seed of Crataegus schraderiana (blue hawthorn). Should I expect that this species will survive zone 6b/7a New Jersey?

Also, has anyone here found it as delicious as Ken Fern (cf: PFAF) has described it as?

Thanks,
Steve

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 8:23PM
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njbiology

I found a nursery which supplies seed of Crataegus schraderiana (blue hawthorn). Should I expect that this species will survive zone 6b/7a New Jersey?

Also, has anyone here found it as delicious as Ken Fern (cf: PFAF) has described it as?

Thanks,
Steve

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 8:24PM
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skyjs(z8 OR, USA)

I can only say that the Carrierre hawthorn is a good, but not amazing tasting fruit. It is kind of a mild tasting fruit, that stays on the tree sometimes until February. Hawthorn has medicinal benefits to your heart, according to Chinese tradition. Other than that, I'm not convinced that it is worth growing.
John S
PDX OR

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 1:21AM
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njbiology

Regarding edible hawthorns: I'm now growing C. mollis (C. x arnoldiana?) "Homestead" and C. mollis (C. submollis?) "Heart's Delight.

I'm trying to get C. schraderiana. I have one potentially viable seed (I extricated the endocarp, which seems viable).. I'll know in a week or so how this goes.

Can someone help me obtain C. schraderiana. Also, has anyone compared this species to "Heart's Delight"?

Thank you ,
Steve

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 10:12PM
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