Botanical Name: Crataegus opaca
Common Name: Mayhaw, Western Mayhaw, May Hawthorn, Applehaw, Riverflat Hawthorn
Description: This is the great multi-trunk shrub or small tree for your sun to part shade areas, wet or regular garden moisture. This deciduous Florida native blooms beautiful white flowers in February/March, with orangey-red berries after that which are used to make delicious jellies and jams. It can be found in the wild in low wet areas in bottomlands and near waterways, so plant it in the rain garden, by the gutter drain, low spot, by the pond, but it also adapts to a regular gardening situation. It attracts pollinators with its flowers and berries and has special value to our native bees. Grows 20′ tall x 15′ wide, thorny, leaves turn red in the Fall before dropping.
They are self-pollinating, but will fruit heavier with another Mayhaw close by. They are pollinated mainly by midges.
This plant in 3-gallon containers is 3-4′ tall, not counting the container.
Interesting Tidbit: Years ago James Sherwood Akin, a retired Louisiana merchant who was an avid gardener and amateur botanist, transplanted a single Mayhaw seedling from the wild and developed an orchard of over 1,000 trees. He continued his work until he died in 2007, at the age of 89. His work attracted the attention of Louisiana State University and the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station. Because of Sherwood and the knowledge he gained and shared, there are a number of commercial operations and a growing hobby market for the Mayhaw. He is known as the man who brought the Mayhaw out of the swamp and into the orchard.
Hardiness Zones 6 – 9