Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Scarlet Hawthorn - Crataegus coccinea   L.
Members of Rosaceae:
Members of Crataegus with account distribution info or public map:
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DistributionOnly in the northern half of the Piedmont and the extreme northern Mountains, south to Orange, Alexander, and Ashe counties. Unlike with most of the other Crataegus maps on this website, the map below is believed to be essentially accurate, as this is a long-standing full species.

A Northern species ranging from PA, northern KY, and northern IL, south to northern NC. It is apparently not known from TN.
AbundanceRare in both the northern Piedmont and the far northern Mountains. This is an NC Significantly Rare species.
HabitatThis is an upland species of edges of deciduous forests and perhaps their interiors, as well as upland thickets. Based on the habitat descriptions, it is not clear why this should be a rare species in the state, other than NC being at the southern edge of the range.
PhenologyBlooms in April and May, and fruits in September and October.
IdentificationThis is a tall shrub or (more often) small tree, growing to about 20 feet tall, at times larger. It looks like so many other hawthorns, but the rather large and pubescent leaves – often to about 4 inches long and nearly as wide, “evenly toothed calyx lobes, and 5-10 stamens per flower are distinctive” (Weakley 2018). The leaf bases are rather truncate, and the serrations along the margins are quite strong and rather deep. The leaf shape can lean toward triangular owing to the rather truncate (squared-off) leaf bases. The fruits are fairly large and orange-red. As this has been a fully described species for a long time, and thus is fairly well known to botanists, the species is not overly difficult to identify by at least Crataegus specialists.
Taxonomic CommentsEssentially none. However, disturbingly, the BONAP website does not list this species at all, and thus no overall range map is available. This clearly says that BONAP has some taxonomic concerns about what constitutes C. coccinea.

Other Common Name(s)Ontario Hawthorn
State RankS2?
Global RankG5
State StatusSR-P
US Status
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