Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Barberry Hawthorn - Crataegus berberifolia   Torrey & A. Gray
Members of Rosaceae:
Members of Crataegus with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Family Rosaceae
AuthorTorrey & A. Gray
DistributionWeakley (2018) shows the species as occurring sparingly in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain (two varieties), whereas Lance (2014) shows only one variety – the nominate one – in the state, limited to just the Coastal Plain. Weakley shows C. berberifolia var. engelmannii as being found in NC, including the Piedmont. Thus, there is confusion as to what constitutes this species and its range in the state, but apparently it is not found in the Mountains. Obviously, the map below is extremely incomplete and "meaningless" at the present time.

Weakley (2018) says the nominate variety is found from “C. VA south to n. FL, west to TX, MO; most common in LA, s. AR, e. TX”. This seems to incorporate about all of the entire range of both taxa on Lance’s (2014) range maps, which has the nominate variety limited to the Coastal Plain and var. engelmannii being found essentially west of the Appalachians. At any rate, this is a Southern species.
AbundanceUnknown in NC, but based on Weakley’s maps, seems not to be scarce. However, Lance (2014) says that it (only the nominate variety) is rare in the state. Combining the information from both sources, and considering that Weakley shows it uncommon in the Coastal Plain and rare in the Piedmont, the editors of this website have temporarily assigned an S3? state rank.
HabitatBased on information in Weakley (2018), this species occurs in upland forests, usually in dry or rocky soil, and mostly over high pH soil (at least for var. engelmannii).
PhenologyBlooms from April to May, and fruits from August to October.
IdentificationThis is a tall shrub or small tree, quite similar to the much more familiar and numerous C. crus-galli. Both have notably cuneate leaves with an oblanceolate to obovate shape, being “top-heavy”, with only very small serrations and no lobes. As the name implies, the leaves resemble those of American Barberry (Berberis canadensis). However, this hawthorn species has pubescent leaves below and also has hairy twigs and fruit, as opposed to being mostly glabrous in C. crus-galli. For other identification comments, see Weakley (2018) and Lance (2014).
Taxonomic CommentsAs mentioned above, both Lance (2014) and Weakley (2018) list two varieties for this species – var. berberifolia and var. engelmannii. Previously, this species was included within C. crus-galli (such as in RAB 1968).

Other Common Name(s)None
State Rank[S3?]
Global RankG4G5Q
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US Status
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