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Thorn




=Habitat and Range.=--Bordering on low lands and along streams.



Provinces of Quebec and Ontario.



Maine,--as far north as Mattawamkeag on the middle Penobscot, Dover on

the Piscataquis, and Orono on the lower Penobscot; reported also from

southern sections; Vermont,--Charlotte (Hosford); Massachusetts,--in the

eastern part infrequent; no stations reported in the other New England

states.



South to Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and Texas; west to Michigan and

Missouri.



=Habit.=--Shrub or often a small tree, 20-30 feet high, with trunk 6-12

inches in diameter, often with numerous suckers; branches at 4-6 feet

from the ground, at an acute angle with the stem, lower often horizontal

or declining; head spreading, widest at base, spray short, angular, and

bushy; thorns slender, 1-3 inches long, straight or slightly recurved.



=Bark.=--Bark of the whole tree, except the ultimate shoots, light gray,

on the trunk and larger branches separating lengthwise into thin narrow

plates, in old trees dark gray and more or less shreddy; season's shoots

reddish or yellowish-brown, glossy.



=Winter Buds and Leaves.=--Buds small, ovate, reddish-brown, shining;

scales broad, glandular-edged. Leaves simple, alternate, 3-5 inches

long, light green above, lighter beneath, broad-ovate to

broad-elliptical; rather regularly and slightly incised with fine,

glandular-tipped teeth; apex acute; base wedge-shaped, truncate, or

subcordate; roughish above and slightly pubescent beneath, especially

along the veins; leaf-stalk pubescent; stipules linear,

glandular-edged, deciduous.



=Inflorescence.=--May to June. In cymes from the season's growth;

flowers white, 3/4 inch broad, ill-smelling; calyx lobes 5, often

incised, pubescent; petals roundish; stamens indefinite, styles 3-5;

flower stems pubescent; bracts glandular.



=Fruit.=--A drupe-like pome, 1/2-1 inch long, bright scarlet, larger

than the fruit of the other New England species; ripens and falls in

September.



=Horticultural Value.=--Hardy in New England. An attractive and useful

tree in low plantations; rarely for sale by nurserymen or collectors;

propagated from the seed.






1. Winter buds.

2. Branch with thorns.

3. Flowering branch.

4. Flower with part of perianth and stamens removed.

5. Fruiting branch.



=Note.=--The New England plants here put under the head of

Crataegus mollis have been referred by Prof. C. S. Sargent to

Crataegus submollis (Bot. Gaz., XXXI, 7, 1901). The new species

differs from the true Crataegus mollis in its smaller ovate leaves

with cuneate base and more or less winged leafstalk, in the smaller

number of its stamens, usually 10, and in its pear-shaped

orange-red fruit, which drops in early September.



It is also probable that C. Arnoldiana, Sargent, new species, has

been collected in Massachusetts as C. mollis. It differs from C.

submollis in its broader, darker green, more villose leaves which

are usually rounded, not cuneate at the base, in its smaller

flowers, subglobose, not oblong or pear-shaped, crimson fruit with

smaller spreading calyx lobes, borne on shorter peduncles and

ripening two or three weeks earlier, and by its much more zigzag

and more spiny branches, which make this tree particularly

noticeable in winter, when it may readily be recognized from all

other thorn trees.--C. S. Sargent in Bot. Gaz., XXXI, 223, 1901.






Next: Drupaceae Plum Family

Previous: Cockspur Thorn



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