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Crataegus Laevigata Plena or Hawthorn Plena, is notable for its showy white flowers in early summer and is less common than the native common hawthorn Crataegus Monogyna.
The cultivar Crataegus Laevigata Plena was bred in 1770 in the UK. It has thorny stems, and small, oval, glossy dark green leaves up to 5 cm in length, which are almost hidden in June and July when the fragrant double white flowers bloom in profusion, attracting bees and butterflies to your garden. Starting out a pure white, they fade to a soft pink before falling. The flowers are followed by red berries which will attract birds in autumn and winter. The leaves turn yellow-red in autumn to finish the year with a burst of colour.
Hardy in all parts of the UK and continental Europe, Crataegus Laevigata Plena will naturally grow to 5 metres high and 4 metres across in 20 years, reaching a mature height and spread of 8 metres in 50 years.
Plant Crataegus Laevigata Plena in full sun or partial shade in any well-drained soil, in an exposed or sheltered position. Hawthorn Plena will tolerate wetter soil, but is also fairly drought-tolerant once established. It is also very tolerant of salt, so it can be planted with special protection in coastal regions. Its high tolerance for pollution makes this native tree perfect for city gardens as well. In the country, the young bark may need protection from rabbits.
This native plant is ideal for inclusion in a wildlife or woodland garden, where it will provide nesting spots for birds, and a nectar source for bees and butterflies. A row of Hawthorn Plena makes a good windbreak in a coastal garden to shelter more sensitive plants.