Hawthorn is a flowering shrub indigenous to Asia, Europe and North America. Like other members of the rose family, this hardwood shrub produces fragrant blossoms and sharp thorns for self-protection. Also known as Bread and Cheese Tree, Hagthorn, May Blossom and various other common names, hawthorn produces red fruits or berries that are botanically known as haws. In some parts of Europe, however, they are referred to as Cuckoo's Beads and Pixie Pears. The red-to-black fruits lend a tart flavor to teas, jams and baked goods. Hawthorn leaf and flower are used to make teas, extracts and tinctures.
Hawthorn Leaf and Flower, 1/4lb
Hawthorn was well known to the early North American settlers, who learned how to use the leaf, flower and fruit of the small tree. In spring, the young leaves were harvested as vegetables and the flowers used to make beverages and tonics. In winter, the berries provided sustenance and nutrition when food was scarce.
Today, hawthorn leaf and flower is used in tea blends and to make infusions and extracts.