White Hawthorn Blossom by Nadia TalentPhoto by Nadia Talent

Fast Facts

  • Proclaimed Missouri’s state flower in 1923
  • Botanical name: Crataegus punctata
  • Also known as red haw or white haw
  • White Hawthorn Blossom trivia: Hawthorn trees generally bear small red fruits, called haws, and have thorny branches – hence their name.
  • Missouri Flower Delivery

The state flower of Missouri is the attractive bloom of the flowering hawthorn. The small tree grows well in Missouri’s climate, lining streets and yards across the state from Kansas City to Saint Louis to Springfield. Hundreds of species of hawthorn exist, and botanists disagree on their exact number. In naming it as the Missouri state flower, state lawmakers did not single out a specific hawthorn, providing residents with no guidance about which plant’s bloom to call their own.

White Hawthorn Blossoms by Nadia TalentPhoto by Nadia Talent

By some accounts, up to 75 Hawthorn species grow in the state. Each spring, hawthorn trees produce the Missouri state flower. These pretty white blossoms are made up of five petals and bear greenish-yellow stamens and appear in globe-like clusters over the hawthorn tree. Their numbers help to attract the pollinators that the Missouri state flower needs to produce its valuable fruit. Hawthorn fruit resembles an apple yet is less than an inch across. It is a favorite source of nutrition for wildlife and can be used to make jams and jellies. Hawthorn fruits are also used in some herbal medicines.

In addition to its fruit, the tree on which the Missouri state flower grows is valued by wildlife for its ability to provide shelter. It grows quite thick and can reach heights of up to 25 feet. Such dense proportions make it an ideal home for numerous birds and mammals.

Sources:

State Symbols of Missouri 

Virginia Tech Department of Forestry