Hawthorn Books

Discussions of books, published articles, and websites related to trees and forests.

Moderators: edfrank, dbhguru

Post Reply
User avatar
ElijahW
Posts: 824
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:04 pm

Hawthorn Books

Post by ElijahW » Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:56 pm

NTS,

I’m looking for an ID book with a focus on hawthorns. The more detailed, the better. I’ve run into several species recently, and telling them apart has been difficult, to say the least. Please help. Thanks,

Elijah
"There is nothing in the world to equal the forest as nature made it. The finest formal forest, the most magnificent artificially grown woods, cannot compare with the grandeur of primeval woodland." Bob Marshall, Recreational Limitations to Silviculture in the Adirondacks

User avatar
Erik Danielsen
Posts: 857
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:46 pm

Re: Hawthorn Books

Post by Erik Danielsen » Mon Sep 02, 2019 6:53 pm

Elijah,

It's been recommended to me that "Haws" by Ron Lance is one of the best texts for developing an understanding of the taxonomy and subgroups of hawthorns. It specifically deals with the species that occur in the southeast (many of which range up to our area as well), but the conceptual framework for working through hawthorn identifications is valuable anywhere. I haven't gotten my hands on a copy yet, but I'd like to.

Meanwhile the dichotomous keys from Haines's Flora Novae Angliae (a rather pricey book) are free to use online at https://gobotany.nativeplanttrust.org/dkey/crataegus/

As that source is focused on New England, a good overlapping resource from a west-central NY perspective is the Michigan Flora, which also has a freely available online key for hawthorns: https://www.michiganflora.net/genus.aspx?id=Crataegus

Both of those pages have good summary introductions of some of the relevant info for working with hawthorns to ID.

"Plants of Pennsylvania" by Rhoads/Block is a handy third cross-reference for our region but is only available in print, not exactly cheap, and the keys aren't always great. Seems like the least well-thought out reference of the three. Botanist Dave Werier is working on a Flora of New York to be published sometime in the next several years and it's likely to be very good, but obviously not available yet!

Any of these references is likely to differ here and there on the taxonomy they apply, just due to the weird nature of hawthorn reproduction/hybridizing in which it can be argued whether or not some variations should or should not be considered their own species.

Even with the best resources, it can be impossible to get a solid-species level ID without flowers or fruits (or both) for some species. I have an ambition to get better at hawthorns someday but they're often challenging even to the genus's lead experts. That said, some species are much more straightforward than others.

User avatar
ElijahW
Posts: 824
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:04 pm

Re: Hawthorn Books

Post by ElijahW » Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:25 pm

Erik,

Many thanks. I had seen “Haws” on Amazon, but they only had the ebook version, which I wasn’t interested in. I found another site that had it for sale and ordered it. The online keys should be a help, too. I may end up more confused after consuming all this information than I am now, but that’s okay. Thanks again,

Elijah
"There is nothing in the world to equal the forest as nature made it. The finest formal forest, the most magnificent artificially grown woods, cannot compare with the grandeur of primeval woodland." Bob Marshall, Recreational Limitations to Silviculture in the Adirondacks

Post Reply

Return to “Books, Articles, and Internet References”