by Stephen Mifsud
   4 Feb 2023      ()
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Crataegus azarolus   (Crete Hawthorn)

Crataegus azarolus  (ROSACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date Sep-2008 (taxon update: none)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Crataegus azarolus - datasheet created on Sep-2008. Retrieved from on 04-Feb-2023

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Crataegus azarolusL.
Published in Sp. Pl. : 477 (1753)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Mespilus azarolus (L.) All.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Rosaceae L. (The Rose Family)
34 species from the Rosaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Crete Hawthorn, Azarole, Mediterranean Hawthorn

Maltese name(s) :


Status for Malta :

Doubtful origin. It is not yet established if this species is native or not.

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent     Scarce     Rare    Very rare     Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: Macro-Phanerophyte ( high trees usually over 10 m high )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

Protected by law: Schedule II of [S.L. 549.123] (Trees protected in selected areas)

Red List (1989) :

Threatened status for the Maltese Islands and has been listed in the Red Data Book (1st ed.)

Flowering Time :

March – May

Colour of Flowers:



Not particularly toxic

Name Derivation :


Planting in rural areas :

Encouraged to be planted in the wild that is in rural areas including ODZ.

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Dry hillsides and mountains.
Preferred habitat in Malta: Old fields, field margins, valley sides, rocky areas close to agricultural sites
Botanical Description: Shrub or small tree up to 10 m; twigs lanate, blackish after the fall of the hairs; spines few. Twigs tomentose. Leaves 30-50 × 25-40 mm, rhombic to obovate-oblong, cuneate, coriaceous, tomentose on both surfaces; lobes 3(-5), subobtuse, entire, the sinuses less deep; stipules falcate, coarsely serrate; hypanthium and pedicels densely tomentose; sepals shortly acuminate; styles 1-2(-3); fruit 20-25 mm in diameter, subglobose, orange-red or yellow; pyrenes 1-3.
Distributional range: Kriti cultivated for its edible fruits in S. Europe and locally naturalized.

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
Crete, Introduced in  France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), Doubtful in ex-Jugoslavia, Sicily and/or Malta
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
AE(G) dAg Ar Cr Cy Eg Gg Ir Jo Le dLi Sn Sy dTn Tu(A) [BH Bl(M) Ct Ga Hs(S) It Sa Si(M S) SM]

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (20 images)
   Crataegus azarolus   -   Image Code: CRGAZ-0.
   Crataegus azarolus   -   Image Code: CRGAZ-1.
   Crataegus azarolus   -   Image Code: CRGAZ-2.
   Crataegus azarolus   -   Image Code: CRGAZ-3.
   Crataegus azarolus   -   Image Code: CRGAZ-4.
   Crataegus azarolus   -   Image Code: CRGAZ-5.
   Crataegus azarolus   -   Image Code: CRGAZ-6.
   Crataegus azarolus   -   Image Code: CRGAZ-7.
   Crataegus azarolus   -   Image Code: CRGAZ-8.
   Crataegus azarolus   -   Image Code: CRGAZ-9.
   Crataegus azarolus   -   Image Code: CRGAZ-10.
   Crataegus azarolus   -   Image Code: CRGAZ-11.
   Crataegus azarolus   -   Image Code: CRGAZ-12.
   Crataegus azarolus   -   Image Code: CRGAZ-13.
   Crataegus azarolus   -   Image Code: CRGAZ-14.
   Crataegus azarolus   -   Image Code: CRGAZ-15.
   Crataegus azarolus   -   Image Code: CRGAZ-16.
   Crataegus azarolus   -   Image Code: CRGAZ-17.
   Crataegus azarolus   -   Image Code: CRGAZ-18.
   Crataegus azarolus   -   Image Code: CRGAZ-19.

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