Botanical name : Crataegus monogyna
Common names : Hawthorn, Haws, Mayblossom, Maythorn, Quickthorn, Bread and Cheese.
Physical appearance : A shrub that grown up to 8 metres in height and spread. Features green, glossy leaves, growing out of spiny branches. Its flowers are white or sometimes have pink tones and are strongly scented.
Edible parts : Leaves and berries.
Best places to find : Favours woodlands, hedges, scrublands and down land.
Time of year : Best harvested in April and early May.
Serving suggestions : Use in green leaf salads, jellies (to bulk out other fruits such as strawberries etc), sauces, syrups and puddings.
The leaves and berries can be eaten directly from the plant but the berries, in particular, should not be consumed in great numbers, without cooking. Over consumption can lead to mild stomach upsets.
Other uses : Good source of antioxidants including vitamin C. Hawthorn also makes for good fire wood, burning hot and clean.
NB - Please be sure you know what you are picking. Many plants look similar to one another and many can be poisonous! Please seek professional instruction if you are unsure! Don't risk your life!!!
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