Very dense, usually long-thorny shrubs or small trees. The only simple-leaved plants with nonleafy thorns mostly over 1 inch long. Spur branches may be present. Leaves toothed, variable, either not lobed or feather-lobed (rarely fan-lobed),
♦t These plants, distinctive though they are as a group, are virtually indistinguishable as species to all except the few botanists who have given the genus special study. Frequent hybridization complicated by great individual variation confounds accurate identification.
The number of species of hawthorns (Crataegus) in this country has been variously determined as over 1000 and as less than 1(K), In this book, therefore, no attempt is made to differentiate between the many species of hawthorns. The drawings opposite serve only to indicate the major leaf types as an aid to identification of the genus.
For the amateur it seems best simply to call them hawthorns and not attempt to be more specific.
Winter twig of
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