Crimson Cloud Hawthorn

Scientific name: Crataegus laevigata ‘Crimson Cloud’

The Crimson Cloud hawthorn has something for everyone, birds, bees and humans. It is a relatively small tree averaging about 25 feet tall by 20 feet around. A great urban small garden specimen. It is USDA hardy from zone 4B-8B making it a good choice for our region here in Vermont. The leaves are relatively small and a glossy dark green. The leaves are less than 2 inches long, lobed and serrate with an ovate shape, narrowing toward the base. The flowers are a dark pink to red with a white star in the middle. They are very attractive and fragrant and visited frequently by bees. The flowers turn to small, half-inch glossy red fruit. This hawthorn is thornless, drought tolerant and grows well in many soil types. As the tree matures, the form can become a little erratic so keeping it pruned is suggested. The tree can be fun to try your hand at creating a bonsai or espalier. It grows best in full sun and is resistant to leaf spot diseases. The Crimson Cloud hawthorn is underused and should be considered more often as a tough small urban variety.

By Bill Allen, BOB! board member.