One tree species that grows along the nature strip in our street is ‘Washington Hawthorn’ (Crataegus phaenopyrum). I like this small tree because of the small size and beautiful foliage (especially in autumn). It has pretty white flowers in late Spring and little red berries in late Summer to Autumn.

Right now this hawthorn tree in front of our property is flowering and many bees enjoy the sweet nectar. When the fruits are ripened, birds will eat them. In a few occasions, bird droppings spread the seeds. Sometimes I find the seeds grow new seedlings and I don’t really mind as they are not as invasive as the loquat trees. I pulled some off the garden bed and grew them into bonsai.


  • Washington Hawthorn. Botanic name: Crataegus phaenopyrum.
  • Native to Eastern USA from Virginia to Alabama.
  • Deciduous ornamental tree.
  • Nice autumn colour foliage.
  • Small clusters of white flowers.
  • Small red berries.
  • Full sun position.
  • Well drain soil.
  • Attracting birds and bees.


The leaves of Washington hawthorn tree look similar to Trident Maple’s (Acer buergerianum). I read somewhere that the berries are edible and can be made into jam or jellies, but I never tried to taste it myself.

Update 18/03/2011:

The Washington Hawthorn tree in front of our house has started to have some fruits/berries: