Thursday, May 8, 2008

New York Spring: Christy Street Crataegus

I looked out of the windows at work sometime late this afternoon and saw two rounded burgundy mounds on the other side of the park. The hawthorns were in bloom. Overnight, it seemed. It felt very good to stop working for two minutes to stare at them.

As soon as I had drawn the iron gates down over the storefront an hour later, I hurried over. An Asian girl was picking some for herself. I didn't bother her. She was doing it so carefully. They grow between the projects' parking lot and a chainlink fence, as inauspicious a city spot as could be imagined, and their complete lack of restraint, their packed petals, their intensity of saturation, are in total and shocking contrast to the awful Deathstar building, the lot, the brown hulk of the housing project and the suspect sidewalk. I think they are one of my favourite trees, yet I struggle to find them for terraces. This is Crataegus laevigata "Crimson Cloud", also known as "Superba". Another Asian lady, older, heading up from Chinatown smiled and said to me, Beautiful trees! Yes, I smiled back, beautiful trees.


  1. Wow, picture number three reminded me instantly of coral polyps. For a second there, I was back underwater. Thank you. :-)

  2. Somewhat belatedly, what a beautiful tree!
    I spent 8 years in schools and universities in England (which was decades ago!) and came to love hawthorns. I managed to get a small tree last year, but when I saw its blossoms in May this year, I was rather disappointed. The blossoms were pale pink, instead of crimson. So, when I saw your pictures, I felt "This is exactly how I like it!"

    Thank you for sharing it, and I wish you a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year!


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