Hawthorn is a species with many varieties and subspecies. Because it hybridizes easily, it is now found almost everywhere in the world.
Usually grown for ornamental purposes, hawthorn has beautiful leaves, berries, and branches. It can grow up to 45 feet tall.
If you love gardening and landscaping, you probably already know this. However, did you know that hawthorn (and the flowers it produces) have deep symbolic meaning? Here’s what you need to know about this elegant specimen.
What does hawthorn mean?
The scientific name of hawthorn is Crataegus rhipidophylla. This word is derived from the Greek word Kratoswhich means strength, and from the word akiswhich means sharp.
The tree is so named because the wood is strong and the wood is sharp. The common name is derived from the Old English term haw, meaning hedge, but can also be applied to fruit.
What do hawthorn flowers symbolize?
Hawthorns and hawthorn flowers are often seen as symbols of love, and not just romantic love. These plants signify the need to love everyone and everything that is for me in our lives. You never know who may play a role or have a greater purpose in your life’s journey.
Trees are also seen as symbols of beauty, which is probably not surprising if you’ve ever seen one of these beautiful plants in full bloom. They are often grown specifically as ornamental trees and can add a lot of elegance to your home.
Some people see thorns as symbols of the ability to express yourself in a unique and outstanding way. Others see trees as symbols of our ability to express ourselves in a unique way or as a symbol of protection.
Why this last symbolism? Thorns have small spines that they use to protect themselves from other threats. Therefore, many people see trees as a symbol of the need to stay protected at all costs.
Finally, the hawthorn is often seen as a symbol of fertility. It produces leaves, fruits and flowers in abundance, and the fruits in particular are known to be edible and highly nutritious.
The list of symbolic meanings does not end there. Thorns and flowers are also often seen as symbols of abundance and longevity. In fact, hawthorns can live up to 400 years if properly cared for, so this last meaning makes a lot of sense!
What is the cultural importance of a hawthorn?
Hawthorns have been used for animal feed and medicinal purposes for several thousand years. In Celtic culture, the tree is particularly appreciated. It is seen by these people as a symbol of love and protection, along with many other things.
It was also highly regarded for its association with a certain festival held in the spring: Beltane.
Hawthorn trees are often referred to as fairy trees because the trees were once believed to harbor fairies. Therefore, great care and respect was shown to the trees in deference to these fairies.
In the Christian tradition, the hawthorn is representative of the struggles the church had to suppress pagan beliefs.
What is the symbolism of a hawthorn tattoo?
Hawthorn tattoos are unusual, but incredibly beautiful. Typically, these flowers are used to symbolize positive themes such as happiness, optimism, and joy. They are generally considered feminine tattoos and can represent eternal wisdom.
When should I give someone a hawthorn flower?
The hawthorn is a suitable plant for any occasion, but if you give it a flower, it will not live long when separated from the tree. You’d be better off giving someone a whole hawthorn tree so they have an endless supply of flowers instead!
As a small tree with lots of foliage and flowers, it is best to give the tree as a live plant to those you care about most deeply. The tree is known for its longevity and can easily live for several hundred years. Give someone a hawthorn and you will give them a gift that will last a lifetime.