Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Gulf Hawthorn - Crataegus quaesita   Beadle
Members of Rosaceae:
Members of Crataegus with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Family Rosaceae
DistributionApparently only in the extreme southeastern corner of the state, perhaps only in Brunswick County, based on the range map in Lance (2014). Range is certainly poorly known in the state, and the SERNEC website lists no specimens in collections.

This species is a Southern one and ranges barely north to NC, and then south and southwest to northern FL and AL.
AbundancePresumed very rare or rare in NC. Though not listed by the NCNHP (as it is not yet in its database), it should be placed on the Watch List, if not listed as Significantly Rare. This website has given it an S1? state rank, based on Lance (2014) stating that var. floridana is "rare" in NC "verified by available collections and observations". It should also be placed on a Watch List.
HabitatThis is a species of dry, sandy soil -– of pine-oak forests or openings in woods on sandy soil. Particular habitats in NC are not well known.
PhenologyBlooms from late March into April, and fruits in August and September.
IdentificationThis is a large shrub to perhaps a small tree, with often long and drooping branches. The leaves often have long petioles, and the leaf bases are also strongly and narrowly cuneate. The outer half of the leaves tend to be strongly serrated, often into three lobes. (There are several varieties, and thus generalizations can be tricky.) The central (middle) lobe often is quite pointed/acute, and thus the leaves are not at all fan-shaped like many other hawthorns with strongly cuneate bases. As this species is so poorly known in NC, and may be limited to just Brunswick and perhaps a few adjacent counties, biologists will almost certainly need to grab a twig of an unknown hawthorn to key out, just in case it is this species. Any records should be documented.
Taxonomic CommentsThough the three varieties of this species had been described (as full species) for over 100 years, Lance (2014) has grouped them -- var. quaesita, var. floridana, and var. egens – into a single species – C. quaesita. Weakley (2018) follows Lance’s treatment, and has these three as varieties. According to both Lance (2014) and Weakley (2018), only var. floridana occurs in NC. None of these entities is mentioned in RAB (1968).

Other Common Name(s)Florida Hawthorn (for the nominate variety), Jacksonville Hawthorn (for var. floridana), Sand Barrens Hawthorn (for var. egens). The ITIS Report calls the full species as Gulf Hawthorn.
State Rank[S1?]
Global RankGNR
State Status[W3]
US Status
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