Haw Berries, Crataegus monogyna


Haws are the fruits of the Hawthorn Tree, a common and widespread shrub or small tree that is often grown as a hedgerow plant. The tree’s fresh spring leaves are edible, and are often added to salads, or, more traditionally, cheese sandwiches. In the spring, the Hawthorn heralds the end of winter by producing stunning displays of white-pink blossom, which, during the late summer months, turn into plump edible red berries, called Haws, that are commonly used to make jelly, jam, ketchup, tea, and wine. Raw, they taste a little like soft apple - slightly tart, a little sweet, and a little “green”. The flavour intensifies as they ripen.

Hawthorn Checklist


🚜 Hedgerows, including field edges.
πŸ‘ Grassland, including paddocks, fields and meadows.
🏑 Urban Green Spaces, including scrubland, parks and gardens.


🌸 Leaves: Mar - Apr
🌸🌞 Flowers: Apr - Jun
πŸ‚ Haws: Sep - Oct


☘️ Dark Green and deeply lobed, paler green on the underside.


🌷 Small, white five-petalled flowers with golden yellow stamens, flowering April to June. Edible.


🌱 Thin, woody brances with sharp thorns - take care!


πŸͺ“ Older Hawthorns have thick, grey-brown, gnarly and twisted trunks and branches.


πŸ“ During the late summer months small plump edible red berries develop on the branches.

Edible Parts

☘️ Leaves
🌷 Flowers
πŸ“ Berries

Aroma / Taste

πŸ‘ƒ The flowers of the Hawthorn smell floral with hints of almond.
πŸ‘… Young leaves taste pleasant and slightly nutty.
πŸ‘… Raw berries tastes sweet, tart and green, reminiscent of soft apples.

ID Notes

🟩 ID Difficulty - Beginner
πŸ‘€ Hawthorn is relatively easy to identify, especially when in flower, or in fruit. The leaves, flowers and berries are the key identifiers.
πŸ‘ƒ The pleasant, floral almond aroma of the flowers is also a key identifier.

⛔️ Like apple pips, Haw seeds, contain small amounts of cyanide inducing compounds, so these should not be eaten. If you do want to try a raw Haw, make sure you and your child spit out the seeds, just like you would with an apple.


πŸ₯— Salad - The leaves and flowers can be eaten raw and added to salads.
🌺 Garnish - Raw flowers can be used as a garnish.
β˜•οΈ Beverage - flowers and leaves can be used to make teas or other drinks.
πŸ§‰ Condiment - Flowers can be used to make infused sugar and vinegar.
🍨 Sweet - Berries be used to make desserts, puddings and syrups.
πŸ“ Yummy - The raw berries are a tasty forage snack. Spit out the pips!
πŸ’Š Herbal Remedy - All parts of the Hawthorn are often used medicinally.