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ForestHarvest: non-timber forest products in Scotland

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Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)

Family: Rosaceae

Description

Small thorny tree with white flowers and bright red haws (berries).

Habitat

Hedgerows and broadleaved woodlands.

Uses

The fruits (haws) can be made into jellies and wine, or soaked in brandy to make a type of liqueur. They can also be eaten raw (best after the first frosts), though they are are not to everybody's taste. The young leaves are also edible, and may be added to salads and sauces.

A medicinal tea can be made from the dried berries (30g in 1L boiling water) for treating diarrhoea. A double-strength infusion serves as a gargle for sore throats.

This species is traded internationally as a remedy for coronary disorders.

Gathering

Gather the fruits in the autumn and early winter.

 

Wild Harvests research - uses in Scotland today

Hawthorn berries (haws): used to provide food, beverages and medicines for personal use

Hawthorn blossom: used to provide beverages and medicines for personal use and gifts

Photo - closeup of hawthorn blossom