Parsleyleaf hawthorn, or Parsley haw or Crataegus marshallii, is a beautiful North American native tree that is sometimes overlooked in favor of its brassier cousins. It has often been described as a "petite" tree with "lacey" foliage, which is a good description. It only grows to 20 feet with a 12 foot spread, certainly a size suitable for most any garden, and the parsley-like foliage lends a delicate, fine texture that is pretty all summer long. It also bear clusters of dainty white flowers with red stamens in early spring, which are quite beautiful. And these flowers give way to decorative red fruit in the fall and early winter. And with cooler weather the leaves turn a nice autumnal red. This is a tree that not only will adorn your garden with 4 season interest, but is a boon to wildlife. The fruits are a valuable food source for birds and mammals, while the thorny habit makes the branches excellent nesting sites for songbirds.

This diminutive hawthorn is particularly effective along a woodland edge or overlooking a pool where petal drop is so beautiful and conducive to contemplation. And yet it is tough and trouble-free. It can grow in quite damp spots, or even periodically flooded areas, yet it is drought-tolerant once established. It does well in the UK but, as always, a tree this rare is not likely to be found in the large discount nurseries, but more likely found in the select plant nurseries or from mail-order tree nurseries.

Parsleyleaf hawthorn


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