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Useful Temperate Plants

Crataegus azarolus

L.

Rosaceae


The taxonomy of Crataegus species has historically been very confused, with over 1,200 different species recognized by some authors in the past. This number has been gradually and very significantly reduced, especially since the publication of several regional studies carried out since the late 1980’s, and current thinking is that the final number could be below 150 distinct species[
1212
Title
New Trees
Publication
 
Author
Grimshaw J.; Bayton R.; Wilks H.
Publisher
Kew Publishing; London
Year
2009
ISBN
1842461737
Description
Provides comprehensive botanical descriptions and horticultural commentary on over 800 tree species that have been introduced to cultivation in recent decades.
]. Many of the genera that were included in this database prior to 2017 will now be treated as synonyms or subspecies, and it is likely that a number of other currently accepted species will also receive that fate once a complete revision of the genus (underway in 2015) has been published.

+ Synonyms

Azarolus crataegoides Borkh.

Azarolus maroccana (Lindl.) M.Roem.

Crataegus aronia (L.) DC.

Crataegus chrysoclada Gand.

Crataegus linnaeana Pojark.

Crataegus orientalis aronia (L.) Lange

Crataegus oxyacantha azarolus (L.) Lam.

Crataegus pontica K.Koch

Crataegus ruscinonensis Gren. & Blanc

Lazarolus oxyacanthoides Borkh.

Mespilus aronia (L.) Willd.

Mespilus azarolus (L.) All.

Mespilus azarolus (L.) Duhamel

Pyrus azarolus (L.) Scop.

Common Name: Azarole

No Image.

General Information

Crataegus azarolus is a deciduous shrub or a tree that can grow up to 10 metres tall[
1259
Title
Revision of Crataegus Sect. Crataegus and Nothosect. Crataeguineae (Rosaceae-Maloideae) in the Old World
Publication
Systematic Botany Monographs Vol 35 June 1992 pp 1-199
Author
Knud Ib Christensen
Website
http://www.jstor.org/stable/25027810
Publisher
 
Year
1992
ISBN
 
Description
 
]. Plants can range from very thorny to almost thorn-free, especially in cultivated forms[
1259
Title
Revision of Crataegus Sect. Crataegus and Nothosect. Crataeguineae (Rosaceae-Maloideae) in the Old World
Publication
Systematic Botany Monographs Vol 35 June 1992 pp 1-199
Author
Knud Ib Christensen
Website
http://www.jstor.org/stable/25027810
Publisher
 
Year
1992
ISBN
 
Description
 
].
The Azarole has a long history of cultivation for its edible fruit, though it is only grown on a very small scale at present(2017). The plant also has a useful wood and medicinal properties. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental, can be used as a rootstock and in shelterbelt plantings.
The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
50
Title
Flora Europaea
Publication
 
Author
?
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1964
ISBN
-
Description
An immense work in 6 volumes (including the index). The standard reference flora for Europe, it is very terse though and with very little extra information. Not for the casual reader.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.

Range

Southeast Europe - Greece; W. Asia - Turkey, south to Egypt (Sinai ), east to Irag, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan; N. Africa - Tunisia

Habitat

Dry hillsides and mountains in woods and hedges[
50
Title
Flora Europaea
Publication
 
Author
?
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1964
ISBN
-
Description
An immense work in 6 volumes (including the index). The standard reference flora for Europe, it is very terse though and with very little extra information. Not for the casual reader.
]. In macchie, garrigue, rocky places, wastelands, roadsides, olive groves, vineyards and hedges, growing on limestone, sandstone and volcanic rocks; at elevations from sea level to 2,000 metres[
1259
Title
Revision of Crataegus Sect. Crataegus and Nothosect. Crataeguineae (Rosaceae-Maloideae) in the Old World
Publication
Systematic Botany Monographs Vol 35 June 1992 pp 1-199
Author
Knud Ib Christensen
Website
http://www.jstor.org/stable/25027810
Publisher
 
Year
1992
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

Properties

Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Edibility Rating *  *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitDeciduous Tree
Height10.00 m
Growth RateMedium
PollinatorsMidges
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details


Crataegus species are generally very easily cultivated plants, growing best in full sun to medium shade and preferring a well-drained but moisture retentive loamy soil, though they are not usually fussy[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Once established, many species can tolerate a range of difficult conditions including drought; excessively moist soils; limy soils; exposed, windy, maritime conditions; and atmospheric pollution[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Notes on the plants habitat above may give more ideas on this[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
Trees growing in a sunny position generally produce more and better quality fruit than trees growing in the shade[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
The azarole has long been cultivated for its edible fruit and useful wood in southern Europe, though it is now going out of favour[
3
Title
Growing Unusual Fruit.
Publication
 
Author
Simmons. A. E.
Publisher
David & Charles; Newton Abbot.
Year
1972
ISBN
0-7153-5531-7
Description
A very readable book with information on about 100 species that can be grown in Britain (some in greenhouses) and details on how to grow and use them.
,
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
1259
Title
Revision of Crataegus Sect. Crataegus and Nothosect. Crataeguineae (Rosaceae-Maloideae) in the Old World
Publication
Systematic Botany Monographs Vol 35 June 1992 pp 1-199
Author
Knud Ib Christensen
Website
http://www.jstor.org/stable/25027810
Publisher
 
Year
1992
ISBN
 
Description
 
]. There are some named varieties[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
].
The azarole is sometimes treated as a single, very variable species, whilst other treatments divide it into a number of varieties. Where seen as comprising distinct varieties, the following forms are cultivated:-
Crataegus azarolus azarolus. Closest to the wild form, it is grown mainly in southern France, Sardinia and Italy. The tree is thorny, the large fruits are orange coloured.
Crataegus azarolus chlorocarpa (Moris) K.I.Chr. The tree is less thorny than the wild form, the yellow fruits are larger, exceptionally to 60mm in diameter. Some seedless forms are grown.
Crataegus azarolus pontica (K.Koch) K.I.Chr. The tree is free from thorns with yellow or orange, juicy fruits around 25mm in diameter. The plant has a more easterly range, extending to central Asia.
Crataegus species often hybridize freely with other members of the genus[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. This statement is not fully accurate; at least in the wild most Crataegus species usually breed true and only occasionally hybridize - in addition, any hybrids are usually putative[
1257
Title
Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden Vol 92
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.mbgpress.org
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden; St. Louis, Missouri
Year
2005
ISBN
0026-6493
Description
A botanical journal, containing a range of articles
].
Many Crataegus species are very variable with regard to fruit size and quality. Seedlings, even if obtained from a good fruiting form, can often be disappointing - though they can also be an improvement on the original form. The most reliable way of obtaining a good fruiting form is by grafting from a known good tree, or obtaining a named cultivar from a reliable source[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
Seedling trees take from 5 - 8 years before they start bearing fruit, though grafted trees will often flower heavily in their third year[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
Seedlings should not be left in a seedbed for more than 2 years without being transplanted[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
].
The flowers have a foetid smell somewhat like decaying fish. This attracts midges which are the main means of fertilization. When freshly open, the flowers have more pleasant scent with balsamic undertones[
245
Title
Scented Flora of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Genders. R.
Publisher
Robert Hale. London.
Year
1994
ISBN
0-7090-5440-8
Description
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.
].

Edible Uses

Fruit - raw or cooked in pies, preserves etc[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
,
2
Title
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Hedrick. U. P.
Publisher
Dover Publications
Year
1972
ISBN
0-486-20459-6
Description
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
,
3
Title
Growing Unusual Fruit.
Publication
 
Author
Simmons. A. E.
Publisher
David & Charles; Newton Abbot.
Year
1972
ISBN
0-7153-5531-7
Description
A very readable book with information on about 100 species that can be grown in Britain (some in greenhouses) and details on how to grow and use them.
,
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
34
Title
The Oxford Book of Food Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Harrison. S. Wallis. M. Masefield. G.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1975
ISBN
-
Description
Good drawings of some of the more common food plants from around the world. Not much information though.
,
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
]. The fruit can be used fresh or dried for later use. A pleasant acid taste, reminiscent of dried apples[
89
Title
Flowers of the Mediterranean.
Publication
 
Author
Polunin. O. and Huxley. A.
Publisher
Hogarth Press
Year
1987
ISBN
0-7012-0784-1
Description
A very readable pocket flora that is well illustrated. Gives some information on plant uses.
,
1259
Title
Revision of Crataegus Sect. Crataegus and Nothosect. Crataeguineae (Rosaceae-Maloideae) in the Old World
Publication
Systematic Botany Monographs Vol 35 June 1992 pp 1-199
Author
Knud Ib Christensen
Website
http://www.jstor.org/stable/25027810
Publisher
 
Year
1992
ISBN
 
Description
 
]. In warm temperate areas the fruit develops more fruit sugars and has a fragrant sugary pulp with a slightly acid flavour[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
]. It can be eaten out of hand. In cooler zones, however, the fruit does not develop so well and is best cooked or used in preserves[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
]. The fruit is very variable, ranging in colour from yellow to orange, often tinged with red and often becoming dark red when dried; the shape can be depressed globose, globose or slightly pyriform; size can range from 8 - 35mm long and 8 - 27mm in diameter[
1259
Title
Revision of Crataegus Sect. Crataegus and Nothosect. Crataeguineae (Rosaceae-Maloideae) in the Old World
Publication
Systematic Botany Monographs Vol 35 June 1992 pp 1-199
Author
Knud Ib Christensen
Website
http://www.jstor.org/stable/25027810
Publisher
 
Year
1992
ISBN
 
Description
 
]. There are usually 2 - 3 fairly large seeds in the centre of the fruit, these often stick together and so the effect is of eating a cherry-like fruit with a single seed[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

The dried leaves are used as a tea substitute[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

Medicinal

The raw fruits, or a decoction of the leaves, is taken early in the day in the treatment of sugar diabetes[
1059
Title
A Guide to Medicinal Plants in North Africa
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
IUCN; Malaga, Spain
Year
2005
ISBN
2-8317-0893-1
Description
A guide to over 100 species of medicinal herbs in N. Africa.
].
A decoction of the leaves is used to treat gastric ulcers[
1059
Title
A Guide to Medicinal Plants in North Africa
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
IUCN; Malaga, Spain
Year
2005
ISBN
2-8317-0893-1
Description
A guide to over 100 species of medicinal herbs in N. Africa.
].

Oil from the fruit is used to treat a heart condition[
1059
Title
A Guide to Medicinal Plants in North Africa
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
IUCN; Malaga, Spain
Year
2005
ISBN
2-8317-0893-1
Description
A guide to over 100 species of medicinal herbs in N. Africa.
].

The leaves have been shown to have substantial antioxidant, antiinflammatory, and antiproliferative activities[
1261
Title
Chemical Composition, Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory, and Antiproliferative Activities of the Plant Lebanese Crataeg
Publication
Med Sci Monit Basic Res, 2017; 23: 270-284
Author
Hany Kallassy; Mohammad Fayyad-Kazan et al
Website
https://www.basic.medscimonit.com/abstract/index/idArt/905066
Publisher
 
Year
2017
ISBN
2325-4416
Description
 
].

Although no further specific mention has been seen for this species, the fruits and flowers of many hawthorns are well-known in herbal folk medicine as a heart tonic and modern research has borne out this use. The fruits and flowers have a hypotensive effect as well as acting as a direct and mild heart tonic[
222
Title
A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America.
Publication
 
Author
Foster. S. & Duke. J. A.
Publisher
Houghton Mifflin Co.
Year
1990
ISBN
0-395-46722-5
Description
A concise book dealing with almost 500 species. A line drawing of each plant is included plus colour photographs of about 100 species. Very good as a field guide, it only gives brief details about the plants medicinal properties.
]. They are especially indicated in the treatment of weak heart combined with high blood pressure[
222
Title
A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America.
Publication
 
Author
Foster. S. & Duke. J. A.
Publisher
Houghton Mifflin Co.
Year
1990
ISBN
0-395-46722-5
Description
A concise book dealing with almost 500 species. A line drawing of each plant is included plus colour photographs of about 100 species. Very good as a field guide, it only gives brief details about the plants medicinal properties.
]. Prolonged use is necessary for it to be efficacious[
222
Title
A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America.
Publication
 
Author
Foster. S. & Duke. J. A.
Publisher
Houghton Mifflin Co.
Year
1990
ISBN
0-395-46722-5
Description
A concise book dealing with almost 500 species. A line drawing of each plant is included plus colour photographs of about 100 species. Very good as a field guide, it only gives brief details about the plants medicinal properties.
]. It is normally used either as a tea or a tincture[
222
Title
A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America.
Publication
 
Author
Foster. S. & Duke. J. A.
Publisher
Houghton Mifflin Co.
Year
1990
ISBN
0-395-46722-5
Description
A concise book dealing with almost 500 species. A line drawing of each plant is included plus colour photographs of about 100 species. Very good as a field guide, it only gives brief details about the plants medicinal properties.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

In arid regions the trees are planted in forest belts and windbreaks[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

Other Uses

The trees are suitable as frost resistant rootstocks for pears and quinces[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
]

The wood of Crataegus species is generally of good quality, though it is often of too small a size to be of much value. It usually has a red-brown heartwood with a thick band of lighter-coloured, usually pale sapwood. The wood is heavy, extremely hard, tough and close-grained. Where wood of suficient diameter is found it is often greatly prized for use in turnery, and has traditionally been used for purposes such as making tool handles, mallets and other small items[
82
Title
Manual of the Trees of N. America.
Publication
 
Author
Sargent. C. S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Dover Publications Inc. New York.
Year
1965
ISBN
0-486-20278-X
Description
Two volumes, a comprehensive listing of N. American trees though a bit out of date now. Good details on habitats, some details on plant uses. Not really for the casual reader. It can be downloaded from the internet.
,
1258
Title
Hawthorns and Medlars
Publication
 
Author
Phipps J.B.; O'Kennon R.J. & Lance R.W.
Publisher
Timber Press; Portland
Year
2003
ISBN
0-88192-591-8
Description
An excellent guide to some of the better known Crataegus species, plus quite a few less well-known. It also contains some information on the Medlar.
].

Propagation

Seed - this is best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame, some of the seed will germinate in the spring, though most will probably take another year. Stored seed can be very slow and erratic to germinate, it should be warm stratified for 3 months at 15°c and then cold stratified for another 3 months at 4°c[
164
Title
Growing from Seed. Volume 4.
Publication
 
Author
Bird. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Thompson and Morgan.
Year
1990
ISBN
-
Description
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation. A good article on Yuccas, one on Sagebrush (Artemesia spp) and another on Chaerophyllum bulbosum.
]. It may still take another 18 months to germinate[
78
Title
Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Sheat. W. G.
Publisher
MacMillan and Co
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
]. Scarifying the seed before stratifying it might reduce this time[
80
Title
Hardy Woody Plants from Seed.
Publication
 
Author
McMillan-Browse. P.
Publisher
Grower Books
Year
1985
ISBN
0-901361-21-6
Description
Does not deal with many species but it is very comprehensive on those that it does cover. Not for casual reading.
]. Fermenting the seed for a few days in its own pulp may also speed up the germination process[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. Another possibility is to harvest the seed 'green' (as soon as the embryo has fully developed but before the seedcoat hardens) and sow it immediately in a cold frame. If timed well, it can germinate in the spring[
80
Title
Hardy Woody Plants from Seed.
Publication
 
Author
McMillan-Browse. P.
Publisher
Grower Books
Year
1985
ISBN
0-901361-21-6
Description
Does not deal with many species but it is very comprehensive on those that it does cover. Not for casual reading.
]. If you are only growing small quantities of plants, it is best to pot up the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in individual pots for their first year, planting them out in late spring into nursery beds or their final positions. When growing larger quantities, it might be best to sow them directly outdoors in a seedbed, but with protection from mice and other seed-eating creatures. Grow them on in the seedbed until large enough to plant out, but undercut the roots if they are to be left undisturbed for more than two years.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2022-09-30. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Crataegus+azarolus>

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