Árbol espino


Crataegus monogyna

Arç blanc (Catalan) | Espiñeiro albar (Galician) | Estripo-alvar (Portuguese) | Espino Albar(Spanish) | Aubépine (French)

A shrub or small tree ranging from 5 to 14 m high and with a dense crown.

The Common hawthorn or Elorri zuri has deciduous leaves along with its thorny branches, producing white scented flowers in spring (from May to June) composed of five petals in bouquets of five to 25 flowers.

They produce edible fruit, elorrio in Basque, similar to a cherry, pear-shaped and holding a single seed, in a soft and reddish coloured enclosure, containing a sweet pulp that is eaten by the birds.

The bark of the tree is thick and brown with vertical orange cracks that gradually turn grey with age. The youngest shoots are characterised by blunt spines, ranging from one to 1.5 cms long, their leaves ranging from 2 to 4 cm in length, ovate and deeply lobed, at times even to its centre, with open lobes at an acute angle. The face is blackish-green in colour while pale on the underside.

In Basque we say elorrio heldu jako literally meaning someone has reached the Day of Saint Martin. If “ we had a hard time” we use elorriokoak ikusi doguz.

The small hawthorn crosses or Elorri Zurri, Arantza Zuri whose thorns produce a painful piercing, are associated with the thorny crown of Jesus Christ according to Christian faith in the Basque Country.

In some places they consider the hawthorn as blessed, hanging small crosses of hawthorn, elorri zuri, arantza zuri in the entrances of homes to ward off lightning and thunder.

It is said that during a storm it is dangerous to take refuge under a beech or other tree; while the hawthorn, according to popular belief in the Basque country and other places, offers a place of safety.
During the traditional bonfires of San Juan (Midsummers´ Eve) it was also traditional to burn hawthorn.

COMMON HAWTHORN characteristics

Discover the different parts of the tree are like

Tronco del espino


Hoja del espino


Flor del espino


Fruto del espino



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