Leaves Stephen M. Young

Stephen M. Young

Dicotyledoneae (Dicots)
Rosaceae (Rose Family)
State Protection
Federal Protection
Not Listed
State Conservation Status Rank
Global Conservation Status Rank


Did you know?

This small hawthorn was first collected in New York in 1868 near Tottenville, Staten Island. It was only collected six more times on Long Island and Staten Island up to July 1919. It was not seen again in New York until 2003 when one small shrub was rediscovered near Kreischerville, Staten Island, a locality where it had been last collected almost 100 years earlier!

State Ranking Justification

There is one existing population in a state park but it is under stress by deer browse and may not be viable. There are six historical occurrences.

Short-term Trends

One small shrub barely continues to survive on Staten Island.

Long-term Trends

This shrub has always been very rare in New York but apparently populations have declined on Long Island since no plants have been found in recent decades.

Conservation and Management


Browsing by deer and inadvertent trampling by humans are threats to the remaining population.

Conservation Strategies and Management Practices

The remaining one shrub needs to be protected from deer and humans by erecting a protective barrier.

Research Needs

Research is needed to figure out the best way to augment the surviving population.



The only known, current record of Dwarf Hawthorn in New York is from a sandy opening in a Staten Island coastal forest. (New York Natural Heritage Program 2010). Open woods and dry slopes (Rhoads and Block 2000). Usually in sandy or rocky ground (Gleason and Cronquist 1991). Sandy or rocky banks and woods (Fernald 1970).

Associated Ecological Communities

  • Coastal oak-beech forest (guide)
  • Coastal oak-heath forest* (guide)
  • Coastal oak-hickory forest* (guide)
  • Coastal oak-holly forest* (guide)
  • Coastal oak-laurel forest* (guide)

Associated Species

  • Acer rubrum
  • Eupatorium hyssopifolium var. laciniatum
  • Liquidambar styraciflua (sweet-gum)
  • Nyssa sylvatica (black-gum, sour-gum)
  • Pinus virginiana (Virginia pine)
  • Quercus palustris (pin oak)
  • Quercus rubra (northern red oak)
  • Quercus stellata (post oak)
  • Quercus velutina (black oak)
  • Rhexia virginica (Virginia meadow-beauty)
  • Smilax rotundifolia (common greenbrier)
  • Solidago speciosa (showy goldenrod)
  • Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)


New York State Distribution

It is currently known from one population on Staten Island with historical records in the Manorville/Yaphank area of Suffolk County. An 1895 specimen has also been identified from Chautauqua County.

Global Distribution

This shrub is most common in the southeastern United States from Texas and Oklahoma east to Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Its northern limit is reached in New York where it is rare.

Best Places to See

  • Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve (Richmond County)

Identification Comments

General Description

Dwarf hawthorn is a slender shrub growing up to 2 meters tall. Its twigs have long (2 to 7.5 cm) sharp thorns, and are slender and soft-hairy when young. The leaves are alternate, toothed, and obovate to elliptic or spatulate, shiny above and hairy on the veins below. They are borne on short (2 to 5 mm) hairy petioles. The flowers have 5 white petals, and are borne singly (or rarely in clusters of 2 or 3). The 5 green, toothed sepals persist at the top of the fruit, which are greenish-yellow or red pomes (Gleason and Cronquist 1991).

Best Life Stage for Proper Identification

This shrub can be identified when it is in leaf and also in fruit.

Similar Species

Having only one (or rarely two or three) flowers per cluster distinguishes Dwarf Hawthorn from all other Crataegus species in New York. Most other Crataegus species are larger in size.

Best Time to See

Dwarf Hawthorn flowers in May before the leaves emerge, and the fruits can remain on the shrubs through September.

  • Vegetative
  • Flowering
  • Fruiting

The time of year you would expect to find Dwarf Hawthorn vegetative, flowering, and fruiting in New York.

Dwarf Hawthorn Images


Dwarf Hawthorn
Crataegus uniflora Muenchh.

  • Kingdom Plantae
    • Phylum Anthophyta
      • Class Dicotyledoneae (Dicots)
        • Order Rosales
          • Family Rosaceae (Rose Family)


  • Crataegus parviflora Ait.
  • Crataegus smithii Sarg.
  • Crataegus tomentosa Eggl. ex B. Robinson & Fern.

Additional Resources


Fernald, M. L. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. 8th edition. Corrected printing (1970). D. Van Nostrand Company, New York. 1632 pp.

Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 910 pp.

Holmgren, Noel. 1998. The Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. Illustrations of the Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.

Little, E.L., Jr. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Agriculture Handbook No. 541. U.S. Forest Service, Washington, D.C. 375 pp.

Mitchell, Richard S. 1986. A checklist of New York State plants. Bulletin No. 458. New York State Museum. 272 pp.

Mitchell, Richard S. and Gordon C. Tucker. 1997. Revised Checklist of New York State Plants. Contributions to a Flora of New York State. Checklist IV. Bulletin No. 490. New York State Museum. Albany, NY. 400 pp.

New York Natural Heritage Program. 2010. Biotics database. New York Natural Heritage Program. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Albany, NY.

New York Natural Heritage Program. 2019. New York Natural Heritage Program Databases. Albany, NY.

Weldy, T. and D. Werier. 2010. New York flora atlas. [S.M. Landry, K.N. Campbell, and L.D. Mabe (original application development), Florida Center for Community Design and Research http://www.fccdr.usf.edu/. University of South Florida http://www.usf.edu/]. New York Flora Association http://newyork.plantatlas.usf.edu/, Albany, New York


About This Guide

This guide was authored by: Stephen M. Young

Information for this guide was last updated on: September 6, 2012

Please cite this page as:
New York Natural Heritage Program. 2019. Online Conservation Guide for Crataegus uniflora. Available from: https://guides.nynhp.org/dwarf-hawthorn/. Accessed March 19, 2019.

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