Most people know what Hawthorn trees look like. They grace our hedgerows around Central Victoria, and in among the rolling green hills, the area north of Ballarat to Maldon and Daylesford look rather like the hills of England – often European trees are the only trees you see. Hawthorn as a hedgerow is particularly common here. In Autumn, flocks of Crimson Rosella's thrive on the fruit, this year in particular the fruit was so thick that the trees turned completely red.
We all know Hawthorn to be white, don’t we – there is the Common Hawthorn and the double white blossom too – a smaller mini-rose like flower.
Two days ago I drove passed a Red Hawthorn – I had never seen one before! With the amount of Hawthorn around here, you'd think there would be more of them. This one is a stunning specimen. Since then I found a pink and white hawthorn, only down the road from where I am staying. I suppose I don’t notice them so much, as the flowering time of a Hawthorn is rather a short time in Spring – and then it depends how often you get out into the world.
After some research I found the Red Hawthorn (Crataegus Laevigata) 'Paul's Scarlet' – is a magenta/scarlet colour compared to the Crimson Hawthorn.
I had found a ‘Paul’s Scarlet’ double blossom in the Mt Rowan area, just a little north of Ballarat.
Note the double blossoms - a mini-rose shape
The Paul's Scarlet had a pink branch on it too.
On my way home I took photos of a lovely Common Hawthorn (Crataegus Monogyna). Here you can see the flowers are not double.
Note the blossom on the Common White - they don't look like a rose so much.
Then the Pink Hawthorn – I came across the latin name of Crataegus Rosea Flore Pleno, on a plant nursery website.
This one appeared to be on the same tree as a white hawthorn – I am not sure if there are two separate trees – the roadside garden here is too overgrown to tell. Both the white and pink blossoms are double. They were mixed together in a lovely way.
All three colours with their leaves
Hawthorn at Mt Franklin Beltane is usually picked to decorate the maypole, and some people put it over their tent doorways. I recall the story that it is supposed to keep away the fairies. But, as its other name is the ‘May Tree’ it is used to adorn the celebrations of Beltane and May Day all over the world. There are 1 or 2 trees on the road up towards Mt Franklin. However, as most regular attendees of the Beltane gathering will know that the Hawthorn will not flower on Beltane weekend every year. It is considered a blessing to me when it does. Yet, this year it did blossom, after a very wet Winter and Spring!
As there is a lot more information I could have put on here, feel free to write in the comments, more information you know about the May Tree, its myths, properties, anything you know!