A native tree also known as the May tree because of when it flowers. The Hawthorn produces highly scented white flowers that grow in clusters and make them easy to identify in hedgerows at this time of year. Common hawthorn can support more than 300 insects. It is the food plant for caterpillars of many moths. Its flowers are eaten by dormice and provide nectar and pollen for bees and other pollinating insects. The haws are rich in antioxidants and are eaten by many migrating birds, as well as small mammals. The dense thorny foliage makes fantastic nesting shelter for many species of bird. and because of this is popular as a hedging plant.
Hawthorn Flowers are associated with death and in medieval times it was said to smell like the great plague! Botanists have since discovered that the chemical trimethylamine that is found in the blossom is also one of the first chemicals formed in decaying animal tissue.
How we use hawthorn:
Common hawthorn timber is a creamy brown colour, finely grained and very hard. It can be used in turnery and engraving, and was used to make veneers and cabinets, as well as boxes, tool handles and boat parts. It also makes good firewood and charcoal, and has a reputation for burning at high temperatures.