Paul's Scarlet Hawthorn Crataegus laevigata 'Plena' (d)

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
hawthorn 'Plena'


Commonly known as the Midland hawthorn 'Plena', this plant is recognized for its showy, ornamental characteristics. It boasts a profusion of white, double flowers that give it a very full and lush appearance. The petals are densely packed, creating clusters of blooms that provide a spectacular display in the spring. The leaves of the Midland hawthorn 'Plena' are glossy and dark green, offering a rich backdrop for the bright flowers. As the season progresses, the flowers give way to red berries that attract various birds and wildlife, while also adding a splash of color to the autumn landscape. The berries persist into the winter, providing visual interest even as the temperatures drop. The plant's branches are dense and thorny, providing an excellent habitat and protection for birds. The bark is rough and may have a flaking texture which adds to the visual interest, especially in winter when the branches are bare. Throughout the seasons, the Midland hawnthorn 'Plena' is known for its hardiness and its ability to withstand various conditions, making it a popular choice for gardeners seeking a resilient and attractive plant.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      English Hawthorn, Woodland Hawthorn, Mayflower, Midland Hawthorn, Double White Thorn.

    • Common names

      Crataegus oxyacantha 'Plena', Crataegus laevigata 'Rosea Plena'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The plant known as English hawthorn is not considered highly toxic to humans. However, like many plants, certain parts of the English hawthorn may contain compounds that can be harmful if ingested in large quantities. The seeds are known to contain cyanogenic glycosides, which can release cyanide when metabolized. If ingested in large amounts, this could potentially lead to cyanide poisoning, with symptoms like dizziness, difficulty breathing, and an increased heart rate. The flowers, leaves, and berries, however, are often used in traditional medicine, and the risk of severe poisoning from these parts is generally low when consumed in moderation.

    • To pets

      The English hawthorn plant is not typically considered toxic to pets. It is generally safe when pets come into contact with this plant, and there is no significant concern regarding poisoning. As with humans, the seeds contain cyanogenic glycosides that could be harmful if consumed in large quantities, potentially causing symptoms similar to cyanide poisoning, such as difficulty breathing, and increased heart rate. However, pets are unlikely to ingest substantial amounts of the seeds, and the risk of severe poisoning is low. Nevertheless, it is still wise to monitor your pets and prevent them from ingesting large amounts of any plant material.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      15-25 feet (4.5-7.6 meters)

    • Spread

      15-25 feet (4.5-7.6 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attractive Flowers: Crataegus laevigata 'Plena' blooms with double white flowers, adding aesthetic beauty to gardens in the spring.
    • Wildlife Support: Its flowers provide nectar for bees and other pollinators, while the berries can serve as food for birds.
    • Disease Resistance: The plant is known to have good resistance to many diseases that commonly affect hawthorns.
    • Seasonal Interest: Apart from spring flowers, it displays colorful autumn foliage and berries that can add visual interest in multiple seasons.
    • Low Maintenance: Once established, it is relatively easy to care for, requiring minimal pruning and being tolerant of different soil types.
    • Compact Size: Suitable for small gardens due to its moderate size when compared to some other tree species.
    • Privacy and Screening: Can be used in hedges or as a standalone specimen to create privacy in a garden setting.
    • Erosion Control: Hawhorns have a good root system that can help in stabilizing the soil and preventing erosion.
    • Adaptability: It is relatively adaptable to various climates and can thrive in a range of hardiness zones.
    • Cultural Significance: Hawthorns have a rich history and symbolism in many cultures, adding a layer of meaning for some gardeners or landscapers.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Cardiovascular support - It contains flavonoids and other antioxidants that are thought to have a beneficial effect on the heart and blood vessels.
    • Antihypertensive - The plant may have properties that help reduce high blood pressure, though its efficiency and mechanism are still under research.
    • Anti-inflammatory - Components within Crataegus laevigata 'Plena', may help alleviate inflammation.
    • Antioxidant - It is known to contain antioxidants that help protect the body against damage from free radicals.
    • Anxiolytic effects - There is some evidence to suggest that it may have a calming effect and could be used to help reduce anxiety.
    • Digestive aid - It has been traditionally used to aid digestion and relieve stomach discomfort.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Hawthorn 'Plena' branches can be used in floral arrangements, providing an attractive burst of greenery and flowers that can add texture and interest to bouquets.
    • The dense thorny nature of Hawthorn 'Plena' makes it an excellent choice for creating secure, wildlife-friendly hedges that deter intruders while providing habitat for birds.
    • The plant's fragrant flowers can be used in perfume-making or in aromatherapy as a natural scent, though this is not a common practice.
    • The wood of Hawthorn 'Plena' is hard and dense, making it suitable for crafting small wooden objects like tool handles or intricate carvings.
    • In some traditional crafts, the thorns of Hawthorn 'Plena' have been used as needles or pins for small-scale, delicate work.
    • During certain festivals or cultural events, branches and flowers of Hawthorn 'Plena' may be used for decorative garlands or crowns, symbolizing spring and fertility in some cultures.
    • The bright red berries produced by Hawthorn 'Plena', known as haws, can be used to make natural dyes for textiles or artwork.
    • The plant can be included in wildlife gardens, as it offers a food source and protection for small mammals and invertebrates, contributing to local biodiversity.
    • Enthusiasts of bonsai may use Hawthorn 'Plena' for creating miniature trees due to its attractive flowers and interesting branch structure.
    • In some cultures, Hawthorn 'Plena' is seen as a plant with symbolic meanings and is planted in commemorative gardens or as part of spiritual or meditative spaces.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    Crataegus laevigata 'Plena', also known as English Hawthorn 'Plena', has thorns and can be considered to have protective qualities as per Feng Shui. It can be used near the entrance of a home to shield against negative energy, but should not be placed in areas where people might frequently walk by or sit, to avoid the aggressive Chi caused by its thorns.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    English Hawthorn 'Plena' is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Hope: Crataegus laevigata 'Plena', commonly known as the Midland hawthorn, often symbolizes hope due to its vigorous growth and resilience.
    • Happiness: Its bright flowers can signify joy and happiness, as well as the pleasure of being in the presence of loved ones.
    • Protection: Historically, hawthorn trees have been thought to have protective qualities, warding off negative influences and providing a safe haven.
    • Love and Marriage: In some cultures, the hawthorn is associated with love and the blossoms are thought to bring good luck in marriage and fertility.
    • Renewal: The Midland hawthorn's abundant spring blooms represent renewal and the continuous cycle of life and nature.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Not applicable
Spring-early summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Midland Hawthorn should be watered deeply and infrequently to encourage a strong root system. Generally, watering once a week with about 1.5 gallons of water is sufficient. However, during periods of drought or extreme heat, watering twice a week may be necessary. Reduce watering to every two weeks in cooler temperatures or during the rainy season to prevent overwatering and root rot. It's important to adjust your watering schedule based on the weather and soil moisture levels.

  • sunLight

    For the Midland Hawthorn to thrive, it should be positioned in full sun to partial shade. A location that receives sunlight for at least 4 to 6 hours a day is ideal. Avoid deeply shaded areas as this can lead to fewer flowers and poor growth. Dappled shade under lightly spaced taller trees can also provide good conditions for this plant.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Midland Hawthorn is hardy and can tolerate a range of temperatures. It prefers temperate climates and grows best when temperatures are between 35°F to 85°F. This plant is winter-hardy, able to survive in temperatures as low as -20°F and as high as 100°F for short periods. Always ensure that the plant is well-watered going into a freeze to help prevent damage.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning the Midland Hawthorn helps maintain its shape and remove any dead or diseased wood. It's best to prune in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Pruning every two to three years is usually sufficient; however, light annual pruning may be done to shape the tree and encourage more flowers. The best time to prune is after the plant has finished blooming if you wish to preserve the current year's blooms.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for the Midland Hawthorn should be well-draining and loamy, incorporating organic matter. It prefers a slightly acidic to neutral pH, ranging from 6.0 to 7.0.

  • plantRepotting

    The Midland Hawthorn, being a larger shrub or small tree, is typically not repotted. It's planted outdoors where it has space to grow.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Midland Hawthorn thrives in average outdoor humidity and does not require specific humidity conditions when planted in its natural outdoor environment.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Not suitable for indoor growth; requires full sun and space.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun to partial shade, well-draining soil, space for roots.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Crataegus laevigata 'Plena', commonly known as the English Hawthorn, begins its life cycle as a seed, which requires stratification (cold treatment) to break dormancy before it can germinate. After stratification, the seedlings emerge and grow into juvenile plants, establishing a strong root system and beginning to develop their distinctive thorny branches. As the plant matures, it enters the vegetative stage, producing a robust framework of branches and leaves. The English Hawthorn reaches reproductive maturity after several years, blossoming in late spring with clusters of double white flowers that are attractive to pollinators. Following pollination, the flowers develop into red berries called haws, which ripen in the autumn and are dispersed by birds and other animals, thus completing the cycle with the potential for new plants to grow from the seeds within the haws. This cycle continues year after year, with the plant capable of living for many decades and entering a period of senescence towards the end of its life as growth slows and productivity diminishes.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-early summer

    • The most popular method of propagation for the Midland hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata 'Plena') is by grafting. This technique is typically carried out during the dormant season, in late winter or early spring. In grafting, a piece of stem with leaf buds, known as a scion, is inserted into the stock of another plant so that the vascular tissues align. The scion should be about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) long and have at least two buds. It is usually taken from a healthy, disease-free parent plant. The graft is then wrapped and sealed to keep it moist and prevent infection while the tissues fuse together over time. This method of propagation ensures that the new plants will bear the same characteristics and double flowers as the 'Plena' variety.