This lush mixture of foliage and flower buds, belongs to a variety of Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) called NL: Maidoorn As you may see in the photo, it’s leaves are quite different to those of common Hawthorn (shown below). These are larger, more delicate to the touch, a far lighter shade of green and are less deeply palmate. On the foraging trip this weekend I didn’t recognize it as Hawthorn because the variety I am used to has tough, small and dark leaves – Fit for windy hill sides! But I was assured by fellow foragers that this variety also makes great Hawthorn Ketchup and tonic medicine.
After a little research, I learn that there are over a hundred Hawthorn varieties worldwide and just three main ones in the UK, many with leaves unrecognizable as Hawthorn to me. The main European variety is Crataegus monogyna. Apparently all have similar medicinal properties and the whole species is part of the Rose family. This variety appears to be C. Laevigata.
Here’s an interesting link if you are interested in the folklore and English Witchy side of Hawthorn.
Here’s a nice Hawthorn tea recipe…
Infuse 1-2teaspoons of fresh leaves and flowers in a cup of boiling water for 5 minutes. Drink three times daily.
Although Hawthorn is not associated with side effects, it is associated with traditional heart medicine. Of course heart disease of any sort is serious and should not be treated without consultation with a qualified doctor.