In the Garden: Parsley hawthorn tree native, functional and adaptable


by Dan Gill / Eyewitness News

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 9:53 AM

When it comes to using Louisiana native plants in our landscapes, I say that there are three "A's" that have to be addressed.

First is the appearance. The plant has to have something about it that makes us want to grow it - like beautiful flowers or attractive fruit.

Also, we need to look at adaptability. If a native plant is so well adapted to a specific situation that it becomes fussy about growing anywhere else, well it might not adapt well to our average landscapes.

Finally, it's got to be available. If the plant is wonderful and will grow up in your landscape but you can't get it, well, that's very frustrating.

So we want it to be beautiful in its appearance; we want it to be adaptable to our average landscapes; and, we need it to be available.

All of those apply to a wonderful small tree, the parsley hawthorn, Crataegus marshallii.

It grows to be about 15 to 20 feet tall.

It's well-adapted to sunny situations as well as partial shade, so you can actually plant this under the shade of large trees like pine trees, for instance.

It's also very adaptable to soil conditions. It's adaptable to acid soils as well as alkaline soils.  It loves damp, wet condition. But they'll also grow in average, well-drained soils as well.

Now, this delightful tree produces white flowers. When they first open, the anthers have this great pink look to them.

The foliage looks like parsley, and that is where the tree gets its name.

And it just produces a gorgeous tree over time.

Think about adding a parsley hawthorn to your landscape.