Crataegus laevigata. Rosaceae
Found in woods and hedges and on heaths and wasteland. Leaves are dark and narrow, with cut edges. The flowers are small, white or pinkish, with many stamens borne in clusters and are strongly scented. Supposed to bring fairies into the houses. Unlucky if gathered before the first week of May. Fruits are small, red, hard with hard pips and known as haws. The wood of the hawthorn is very hard and therefore an excellent tool wood. The hardness and strength of this shrub gives it its Grecian name for strength.
The leafy buds are eaten as a tonic salad. The country name is “pepper and salt”, as they have that very taste. Hawthorn flowers are also edible, sprinkled on fruit salads, Junkets and custards. Hawthorn fruits are edible and tonic, eaten raw (though rather astringent in the mouth). They make good conserves and fermented a strong wine. They are also nervine and helpful in prevention of miscarriage.
A poultice of the pulped leaves or fruits has strong drawing powers. Country people for ages have used hawthorn for treatment of embedded thorns, splinters, and whitlows.
As much as desired in salads. Against miscarriage take four to six fruits. The fruits can be dried and stored.