Friday, November 23, 2007

Crataegus x lavallei

At the fag-end of autumn, when most of the leaves have fallen and few town trees look exciting, the sultry glow of this one stands out. The leaves remain on the tree very late, some of them tinged with dark red, and the luscious-looking fruit, which for some mysterious reason rarely interests birds, lasts through the winter.

Crataegus x lavallei (Hybrid Cockspur Thorn) is a hybrid between two North American hawthorns, C. crus-galli and C. stipulacea; it was first raised in Segrez Arboretum (Seine-et-Oise), described 1880.

If I remember to take a look next May, I'll know if this tree is the type (yellow anthers) or var. 'Carrierei' (pink anthers).

I accidentally tore the petiole off this leaf (grabbed while running past). Also, the base is generally cuneate, not rounded.

Fruit "orange-red speckled brown, pubescent near tip" (Alan Mitchell), details you can just about see in this close-up:



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