The hawthorn is in full flower

Devon’s hedgerows are ablaze with hawthorn flowers at the moment. Hawthorn is also known as the May tree because of the month it flowers in. It is a member of the Rose family.

 The Woodland Trust says the following about hawthorn “In Britain, it was believed that bringing hawthorn blossom into the house would be followed by illness and death, and in Medieval times it was said that hawthorn blossom smelled like the Great Plague. Botanists later learned that the chemical trimethylamine in hawthorn blossom is also one of the first chemicals formed in decaying animal tissue, so it is not surprising that hawthorn flowers are associated with death.

Hawthorn 2In the wild the majority of the blossom is white but many shrubs have pink blossom

Hawthorn 3The leaves have a very characteristic shape

Hawthorn is very common in Devon’s hedges and woodlands – take a few moments to spot it and wonder at its beauty.


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