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Crimson Cloud Hawthorn

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SCIENTIFIC NAME: Craetagus laevigata
FAMILY: Rosaceae

Hardiness Zones 4 to 6.

Growth habit Tree has an upright elliptical growth habit. When established it can grow better than a foot a year, which is unusual for a hawthorn. Mature height will be somewhere around 20 feet with a spread of 15 feet.

Foliage Attractive deep green finely-toothed leaves throughout the summer.

Twigs Young twigs are golden brown in color. They also grow in a wavy manner, which adds to the winter character of the tree.

Flowers Small 1/2 inch beautiful red flowers with a white center. Flowers cover the tree just as leaves are emerging. These flowers are gorgeous when examined up close.

Fruit Small 1/4 to 1/3 inch fleshy apple-like fruit. Green fruit in the early summer turn bright red in the fall and are persistent on the tree through the winter.

Bark The bark is a golden brown color on young branches that are smaller than two inches in diameter. As the main trunk and branches mature the golden bark begins to turn gray and flake off.

Insects and diseases Only pests observed on Colorado planted material were aphids, pear sawfly and occasionally cedar-hawthorn rust. None of these pests are serious enough to warrant not using Crimson Cloud in the landscape.

Landscape value Crimson Cloud is a selection of English hawthorn. The strikingly beautiful red flowers in the spring make this an excellent hawthorn selection for accent type plantings. Tree is very adaptable to Colorado’s diverse soil types. It does very well in clay soils and has not exhibited the typical chlorotic (i.e., yellow) leaf symptoms sometimes caused by clay soils.

Information sources
Michael Dirr, Manual of Woody Landscape Plants (University of Georgia, 1990)
Oregon Landscape Plants