Sunday, 20 May 2012

Hawthorn

Known as Common Hawthorn, the small tree or shrub Crataegus monogyn is a well known sight in our countryside, but at this time of year it is of particular interest.  The spreading branches are full of frothy, white flowers and the air is filled with their scent.
Looking closer, the flowers start to reveal more than first impressions might suggest.  When the flowers first open, the stamens are tipped with red anthers.  These fade to a more earthy, brown colour.
As we walked along our usual path this morning, the combined, sweet, fragrance of thousands of Hawthorn flowers surrounded us - a welcome change to the smell of whatever the local farmer has recently been spreading on his land!!
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