Parsley Hawthorn

Crataegus marchallii

(Tree)

 

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Profile for the Parsley Hawthorn

Type of Plant: Native, deciduous, small tree, often multi-trunked, usually thorny.  Bears deeply lobed parsley-like foliage, white flowers, and attractive fruits that ripen in the autumn.  Usual height 15-25 feet, rarely reaching 35 feet.
Habitat: Wooded slopes/ bluffs, mesic-wet woods and flood plains.
Distribution: Throughout Northern Florida south to about Hillsborough County in the Central Peninsula. Zones 7/8-9A.
Landscape Use: Very attractive delicate tree.  Best used in a moist, partly shaded understory, as a specimen planting or in masses where space permits. Showy spring flowers, colorful fall foliage and bright red fruits, and exfoliating bark in the winter make Parsley Hawthorn a must for every Florida garden that can accommodate it.
Wildlife Benefit: Provides excellent cover for birds and other wildlife. Flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds. The apple-like fruits or haws are a valued food for birds and other wildlife. Larval host plant for Gray Hairstreak butterfly.
Soil: Rich organic, acidic preferred.
Light: Full sun to full shade, but does best in partially shaded understory. Flowers and fruits best in full sun or bright shade, but will require supplemental irrigation.
Water: Prefers moist sites, but is adaptable to drier locations.
Misc: Do not plant where sharp thorns may be a problem.

 

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