Hawthorn (i.e. hedgethorn, white-thorn, quickset or May, Crataegus Oxyacantha), a shrub or small tree, sometimes 30 feet high, native to Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia, and naturalised in North America and Australia. It belongs to the sub-order Pomeee of the order Rosaceee. The wood is yellowish, hard and tough, but liable to warp; the bark smooth and blackish, the branches numerous with spinously aborted Jwigs, the leaves scattered, cuneate, irregularly-lobed and long-stalked. The sweet-scented fiowers, white, or more rarely pink or scarlet, are in cjprymbs; and the fruit or "haw" is a small, nearly globular, berry-like, red pome, with mealy flesh, a stony core, small withered calyx and 1 to 3 styles.
Hawthorn branches are said to have been sacred among the Greeks to Hymen; but, being popularly supposed to be the source of Christ's crown of thorns, it has been considered unlucky. The variety prmeox, flowering in January as well as in May, is known as the Glastonbury thorn, legendarily derived from the staff of St. Joseph of Arimathea". The tree has from very early times been set as a live or "quick" hedge. Its wood has been used for cogs, and, though seldom obtained in large pieces, is the nearest approach to a substitute for box for engraving. The leaves have been used instead of tea. The plant is the badge of the Ogilvies.