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The Hawthorn


Crataegus monogyna L. Family: Rosaceae, common hawthorn, hawthorn, May tree, one-seed hawthorn, whitethorn, quick thorn, thornapple, Haw berry, Fairy Tree


According to the best way to propagate the Hawthorne is from seeds harvested from the haws or berries. It can take up to 18 months to start seeing the germination, but it is a beautiful tree/shrub and is well worth it. You can mash the berries and bury them in sand. Mix in a fine compost and keep well-watered. Once you have a germinated sapling, plant in moist but well drained areas during the dormant season between autumn and spring. Cuttings can also be propagated in water. There are many videos and articles from various sources to help with planning and executing a hedge row or propagating a Hawthorn. I have listed sources below to give you a start on researching propagation.


Some folklore says that the Hawthorn was the home of the Fairies and stood at the threshold of the other world. In some countries it was used on the funeral pyre as it was believed to guide the dead safely into the afterlife. The Christian faith believes this is what the crown of thorns was made of that was placed on Christ’s head. In Celtic folklore it was a sacred tree and represented love and protection. In Gaelic the Hawthorn is known as Sgitheach. Many sources tell a tale of Thomas the Rhymer, the thirteenth century Scottish mystic and poet. He said he met the Faery Queen by a hawthorn from which a cuckoo was calling. She led him into the Faery Underworld for a brief sojourn. Upon reemerging into the world of mortals he found he had been absent for seven years. As a home of the fairies, it is believed that such trees could not be cut or damaged in any way without incurring the often-fatal wrath of their supernatural guardians. The legends and myths of the Hawthorne are abundant and quite interesting to read about. I have listed a few sources to start learning about this amazingly magical tree in the ancient world.


Traditionally and currently the Hawthorne is used for the cardiovascular system. According to Mount Sinai Medical the antioxidant flavonoids help dilate the blood vessels which improves blood flow and protects the blood vessels from damage. As such, studies have shown to help protect against heart disease and high blood pressure and high cholesterol. It is also believed to help with other diseases such as diabetes and cancer but there are not enough studies and scientific research into this to say whether this is true or not.

The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies; The Healing Power of Plant Medicine by Nicole Apelian, Ph.D & Claude Davis, Historian & Chief Editor of


According to the iChing, Hawthorn is useful in magical purposes for tenacity, strength, self-discipline, persistence, determination, courage, perseverance, purpose, and patience. The blossoms are called May Flowers and are used in Spring celebrations. Since the trees are sacred to the fairies, you must first ask permission before taking the blooms or sprigs. It also is associated with compassion and grief.


The Hawthorn has been the most thoroughly documented plant, both physically and spiritually that I have researched. The wealth of knowledge for this tree is bountiful and so very interesting. While I caution medicinal uses due to interactions with modern medication the spiritual applications are abundant and I encourage each of you to look more closely at this plant our planet has provided us with. It is the best representation of light and dark, beauty and grotesque, a balance of life given to us as an example of how we should embrace ALL that life has to offer!

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