Crataegus pulcherrima

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Crataegus pulcherrima
Crataegus pulcherrima Gil.jpg
photo by Gil Nelson
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Crataegus
Species: C. pulcherrima
Binomial name
Crataegus pulcherrima
CRAT PULC dist.jpg
Natural range of Crataegus pulcherrima from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common name: Beautiful hawthorn

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: Crataegus abstrussa Beadle; C. austrina Beadle; C. opima Beadle; C. contrita Beadle; C. concinna Beadle; C. illustris Beadle; C. inanis Beadle; C. incilis Beadle; C. intricata Lange; C. lenis Beadle; C. macilenta Beadle; C. pinetorum Beadle; C. robur Beadle; C. tecta Beadle.[1]

Varieties: Crataegus pulcherrima Ashe var. opima (Beadle) R.W. Lance; Crataegus pulcherrima W.W. Ashe var. pulcherrima.[1]


A description of Crataegus pulcherrima is provided in The Flora of North America. Crataegus pulcherrima is a small understory tree, usually with a single main trunk and bushy crown. It's bark tends to be thickish, dark gray, and rough, or broken into small blocks.[2]


Found from Mississippi to Georgia and northern Florida.[3]



C. pulcherrima can be found in upland mixed hardwood communities, longleaf pine-oak forests, longleaf pine-scrub oak sand ridges, and holly-mixed hardwood forests. It seems to prefer sandy soils, and can be found in well-drained soil occurring over limerock. This species also occurs more frequently in stands with a low second growth of hardwoods.[2]

Associated species include Longleaf pine, Loblolly pine, Shortleaf pine, and oak species.[2]


C. pulcherrima has been observed flowering in January, March, April, and May with peak inflorescence in March and April.[4] Fruiting has been observed in May, June, September, and October.[2] C. pulcherrima reproduces sexually and does not spread vegetatively.[5]

Seed dispersal

Fruits are eaten by birds which disperse the seeds.[5]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Threats to this species include logging, clearing, and conversion of habitat to pine plantations and developments.[5]

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Weakley, A.S. 2015. Flora of the southern and mid-atlantic states. Working Draft of 21 May 2015. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: June 2014. Collectors: R. A. Norris, Robert K. Godfrey, and R. Komarek. States and Counties: Florida: Gadsden, Jackson, Leon, Wakulla, and Washington. Georgia: Grady.
  3. Phipps, J. B., R. J. O'Kennon, et al. (2006). "REVIEW OF CRATAEGUS SERIES PULCHERRIMAE (ROSACEAE)." SIDA, Contributions to Botany 22(2): 973-1007.
  4. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 8 DEC 2016
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 [[1]]Georgia Wildlife. Accessed: April 15, 2016