Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Sunny Hawthorn - Crataegus aprica   Beadle
Members of Rosaceae:
Members of Crataegus with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Family Rosaceae
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DistributionPoorly known, but scattered over parts of the Coastal Plain, Piedmont, and Mountains, according to Weakley (2018). However, Lance (2014) has a completely different range, that being in the Mountains from about Buncombe County south to SC, and also near the Fall Line north to about Wake and Johnston counties. Obviously, these two authors have different criteria as to what constitutes this species. The range map below is certainly incomplete, not only for this species but for nearly all Crataegus species, owing to major taxonomic issues for most members of this large genus.

Weakley (2018) has the range extending into southeastern VA, and west to AL and northern FL.
AbundanceApparently not uncommon, based on Weakley’s map. In reality, there is very little known about its abundance in the state, and as with most species in the genus, the NC NHP has not assigned state ranks. This website temporarily assigns an S3? rank, based mainly on Weakley's map, plus his statement that "This species is most common in the upper Piedmont and Southern Appalachians of NC and SC, and sporadic in the Coastal Plain", though the last part refers to the entire Coastal Plain range from VA to FL.
Habitat“Upland pine forests, pine-oak forests, mixed hardwood forests over rocky or sandy substrates, abandoned fields, roadsides” (Weakley 2018). Lance (2014) states that it is found in “sandy, dry or rocky sites which abound in sunlight”.
PhenologyBlooms from late March to April, and fruits in September.
IdentificationThis large shrub or small tree is best known for its crooked or zigzag branches. It has somewhat rhombic leaves that are cuneate at the base, and the serrations are quite small, rendering the leaves nearly entire at a distance. It also has 10 stamens, unlike many other species. For additional characters and separation from other species, see Lance (2014) and Weakley (2018).
Taxonomic CommentsAs with a number of other hawthorns, this form was lumped into the overly broad C. flava during most of the 20th Century. NatureServe Explorer does not (yet) list this taxon on its website, and thus it has no global rank.

Other Common Name(s)None
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