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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

05 May, 2010

Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)

"Ne'er cast a clout 'til May is out!" Well the May is out now but this year you would be advised to keep your clout on a little longer as the wind remains quite chilly. I guess it has been a Blackthorn winter!

May is the country name for Hawthorn, not surprisingly because it comes out in May! That said, in recent years it has often come in April due to the milder winters we have had.

Like Blackthorn, Hawthorn is a member of the Rose family and has white, five petalled flowers. On Blackthorn the flowers come before the leaves, on Hawthorn the leaves come before the flowers. Blackthorn flowers first and as it fades so Hawthorn steps in to keep our hedgerows shining white.

Common across the county, Hawthorn can be seen almost anywhere from town parks to country hedgerows. In autumn, those flowers will have turned to the red berries we know as Haws.