Crataegus viridis 'Winter King' - Winter King Hawthorn
Family: RosaceaeRosaceae

Hear the scientific name

Crataegus viridis 'Winter King' is a small tree noted for its attractive growth habit, including its showy inflorescences, fruits, branches, and bark.

Alternate common name: Winter King Green Hawthorn

F   E   A   T   U   R   E   S
  form2 form Form

-small ornamental tree

-maturing at 15' tall x 20' wide

-upright vased growth habit in youth, becoming spreading vased to horizontal spreading at maturity

-medium growth rate

foliage Foliage

-dull-shiny, dark green to gray-green on the upper leaf surface, to 2" long, alternate, with doubly serrated and incised leaf margins, and leathery to the touch by mid-summer (almost looks and feels artificial)

-variable in shape from broadly ovate with 2-5 lobes, to ovate with no lobes

-autumn color is usually yellowish green, but in good years is golden-yellow to yellow-brown in Oct. and Nov.


-white 2"-wide inflorescences cover the tree in early- to mid-May (first major landscape Hawthorn to flower) effective for 2 weeks and slightly malodorous

-one of the first Hawthorns to flower


-3/8" diameter light green fruits are in clusters, turning to orange by Oct. and then to bright orange-red in Nov., and often persisting into early Feb. or later before they turn brown-black

-tight clusters of bright red fruits (not as pendulous as fruits of Washington Hawthorn [Crataegus phaenopyrum]) on the spur shoots that branch from the stiff silver-gray branches make this one of the most attractive early winter ornamental trees, easily noticed from a long distance

-fruits are eaten by birds and squirrels, usually in late winter


-stems and branches are an attractive silvery-gray (except on the first-year-wood stems, which are brown-red)

-much of the foliage and all of the flowers and fruits arise from spur shoots along the branches of the tree

trunk2 trunk Trunk

-old branches and young trunks are silvery-gray with green patches, with a noticeable greenish cast when wet

-brown-gray exterior bark exfoliates in thin flakes with maturity to reveal a light orange interior bark

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-full sun to partial sun

-tolerant of poor soils, various soil pHs, soil compaction, drought, and heat

-propagated primarily by cuttings grafted onto the species seedling rootstock of Green Hawthorn (C. viridis) or Washington Hawthorn (C. phaenopyrum)

-there are several minor diseases and pests, but not as numerous nor severe as in other Hawthorns (rust is usually minor and infrequent, if present at all, on the immature fruits)

-abundantly available


-zones 5 to 7


-native to the Southern and Midwestern U.S.

U   S   A   G   E


-multi-season ornamental tree

-showy white inflorescences in mid-spring

-red-orange fruits occur in abundance in autumn and early winter

-widely vased branching (with silvery branches and ornamental bark on the trunk) that is very appealing, becoming spreading and nearly horizontal with age

relatively disease- and pest-free, with few thorns (noteworthy for a Hawthorn)

-urban tolerant

-wildlife attraction


-slightly malodorous inflorescences in mid-spring

-low, wide branching at eye-level (with a few thorns) can be a problem if improperly sited near pedestrian high-traffic areas

-a few suckers occasionally arise below the graft union and need to be pruned away, especially if the rootstock is from Washington Hawthorn (Crataegus phaenopyrum)


-specimen, focal point, foundation, entranceway, group planting, raised planter, or border tree


-medium texture in foliage and when bare

-open density in foliage and when bare

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Varieties and Cultivars - Search OSU PlantFacts for additional plants in this species


-small multi-season ornamental trees with good flower, fruit, bark, branch, and/or growth habit features (Amelanchier x grandiflora 'Autumn Brilliance', Cornus kousa var. chinensis 'Milky Way', Malus Sugar Tyme™, Syringa reticulata 'Ivory Silk', etc.)


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