Black hawthorn

Crataegus douglasii var. suksdorfii

Range: Frequent in S BC north to 56 N; N to S AK, E to ON and S to SD, WY and CA.  This variety grows west of the Cascade mountains.

Description: Medium to tall shrub to 10m tall, with stout, straight thorns to 3 cm long; bark grey or brownish, rough and scaly.  Leaves are alternate, deciduous, thick and leathery, egg-shaped to oval, 3-6 cm long, irregularly toothed, the top end often with 5 to 9 shallow lobesFlowers have white petals (5), nearly circular, 1 cm across, stinky.

Ecology: Moist to mesic, open rocky slopes, bluffs, streambanks, lakeshores, gullies, thickets, edges of forests in the lowland to montane zones.

Notes:  Thorns had many uses including lances for probing skin blisters or piercing ears and fish hooks.  The wood is very hard and was used for making tool handles and weapons.


  • Eflora
  • Pojar, J. and A. MacKinnon.  1994.  Plants of coastal British Columbia: including Washington, Oregon & Alaska. Lone Pine Publishing. Vancouver. 528 p.

Learn about the importance and diversity of our wetlands

Wetlandkeepers is a 2½ day introduction to wetland identification and stewardship. The course offers individuals an opportunity for hands-on practice of wetland conservation skills, such as conducting wetland, plant and bird surveys, wetland mapping and raising public awareness. It is a fun, and often muddy weekend, for all ages. Participants that successfully complete the course are awarded a Wetlandkeepers Certificate.