Updated: Aug 11, 2020

Botanical Name: Crataegus spp.

Other Common Names: May tree, Hag Thorn, Haw Apple, Ladies’ Meat, Quickthorn, May Blossom

Family: Rosaceae

Plant Energetics: Neutral

Plant Properties: Relaxing Nervine, Cardiac Trophorestorative, Digestant, Astringent, Diuretic, Antioxidant

Plant Uses: Cardiac Weakness, Resulting Blood Pressure, Panicky Heart, Heart Problems, Stagnant Digestion

Plant Preperations: Tincture, Elixir, Glycerite, Hydrosol, Vinegar, Tea, Infusions, Food, Honeys, Syrups

Im so happy and my heart is warmed by the sight of Hawthorn blossom appearing like white jewels among lichen covered thorny branches along the hedgerows, on the Moors and through the forest.

I love Hawthorn for the magical quality held within the trees branches and for the leaves, flowers and berries that contain such wonderful heart medicine.

The leaves; being deeply lobed, look like little green hands wanting to stroke me and wave hello as I go by, these leaves so soft in spring are wonderful for eating and so much darker and tougher in autumn becoming not such a wonderful edible.

The small red berries, that go by the name of cuckoo’s beads, chucky cheese, and pixie pear, to me they taste of avocado and cover the branches like drops of heart blood.

In May this small tree blossoms in an abundance of small white flowers; so delicate and pure. And balanced out by Hawthorn’s huge thorns which nestle throughout the year

amongst gnarled bark, maiden like blossom and bleeding berries. They have a wonderful protective quality for the tree, a ‘don’t mess with me’ kind of vibe which I always like in plants and people.

Hawthorn is a small tree that belongs to the Rose family, and like the wild and old Roses in this trees family, Hawthorn is a heart medicine and both Rose and Hawthorn have wonderful fierce thorns.

To me this is a wonderful lesson and example that I have had to learn over the years, which is to be in your heart, for your heart to feel safe you need to have your strong boundaries in place. You need to know your thorns are there in case needed. To be open, magical, soft and safe you need to have boundaries that are as clear and as seeable as the thorns of a rose or Hawthorn.

Hawthorn has been widespread in Britain since before 6,000bc and has many deep, ancient stories and beliefs attached to it.

Hawthorn is often a companion to blackthorn amongst the hedgerows. In spring Blackthorn blossoms before going into leaf, while Hawthorn blossoms alongside the unfolding leaves.

From the earliest records, hawthorn is one of the sacred Celtic trees. Being the sixth tree of the Ogham cycle and is believed to be the tree that is the fairy tree and gatekeeper to nature spirits. Hawthorn is also part of the ancient sacred triad of Oak, Ash and Thorn and was often found or planted next to sacred springs.

Hawthorn is in blossom on May Day / Beltane which is also called  ‘the greening’. 

Women used to gather branches of May blossom early on the May Day morning and bathe their faces in the dew with great reverence and ceremony.

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