New Zealand Status: Introduced
Conservation Status: n/a
Crataegus crus-galli is a small tree that grows to about 10 metres tall and 8 metres wide, rounded in form when young then spreading and flattening as it matures. It has long sharp thorns on its branches and trunk. The bark is gray-green, rough, and scaly.
Leaves are dark green, glossy, about 75mm long, alternate, short-petioled, strongly obovate with a long tapered base and finely serrate margins on the upper widened portion of the leaf blade. Leaves are held upright above the stem in a V-shaped arrangement. In Autumn the leaves produce a showy multi-coloured array of red, purple, orange, and yellow.
Corymbs of flowers about 50-75mm wide are produced from some of the leaf axils in late spring. Flowers are about 15mm diameter, with 5 creamy-white petals and 10 stamens (rarely up to 20). The flowers have an unpleasant odor. Fruit is rounded or oblong, about 10mm wide, deep red, contains 2-3 seeds and persists into late autumn.
© Geografpix Photography, Steve Reader