8th November 2020 – not just any red berries

It’s almost impossible to ignore trees at this time of year, not that you’d want to I imagine. But as well as enjoying the autumn colour, I’m taking time to notice the unfamiliar trees in the estate where I live and in our local park.

I’ve walked past this one just behind our house almost every day since we first moved here sixteen years ago and I’ve never really paid attention to it until today. From the fruit, I guess it’s in the Rose family and possibly some sort of Hawthorn but not our native one Crataegus monogyna (where “monogyna” means one seed) because it doesn’t have lobed leaves.

Looking up through the branches I notice distinctive spiralling ridges and thorns which are about 2cm long. I make a bark rubbing so I don’t forget the patterning and take a leaf (which is similar in shape to Hornbeam but with delicate hairs down the midrib) and a thorn home to help with identification.

Later I decide this is most likely to be Broad-leaved Cockspur Thorn Crataegus persimilis which is native to North America. If I’m right then these glossy crimson berries will be just a passing joy.

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