Hawthorn, Crataegus oxyacantha, is a small tree of the rose family, and is also known as whitethorn. In southern Europe, hawthorn was used as a symbol of hope and as a charm against witchcraft and sorcery. As protection against witchcraft, people would place it in cradles of infants, build a barrier of hawthorn around their house, or place pieces of hawthorn in the foundations of houses to prevent the entrance of witches. Hawthorn was known not to fully stop supernatural forces, but it was believed that it could slow down these forces, allowing time for other action to be taken.

In Bosnia, hawthorn was used as protection from vampires-- when someone died, the visiting women would place hawthorn behind their headcloth, and would throw the twig away when they exited the house. According to legend, if the recently deceased was a vampire, it would be attracted to the hawthorn, and would therefore be unable to follow the women home.

The Hawthorn is the collective name of several hundred different species in the genus Crataegus. The Hawthorn is native to most temperate climates, but is sometimes introduced into colder and warmer climates.

The Hawthorn in the wild very rarely grows into a full fledged tree, usually growing in a more shrub or bush like pattern. However, certain varieties of Hawthorn are grown as ornamental trees, due to their brightly colored berries; and these varities usually grow into full fledged trees when tended correctly.

Most of what can be said about other members of the Rose family can be said of the Hawthorn. The plants are usually rather small, relativly short-lived, tend to tolerate cold climates, have small bisexual flowers that turn into bright red berries. They often propagate through asexual reproduction. And of course, as the name would suggest, they have thorns.

The Hawthorn is mostly distinguished from other members of the Rose family by their deeply notched, but not composite leaves, by the fact that they are usually even more shrublike then other members of the family, and by the fact that they sometimes produce berries with only one seed, especially in species such as monogyna.

Hawthorn is a suburb in the inner Eastern part of Melbourne, Australia.
On average its residents are middle class, although there are some very large houses on even larger blocks in some areas.

It is bordered by Richmond, Kew, Camberwell, Malvern and Toorak, all of which are traditionally middle to upper class with the exception of Richmond.

The Hawthorn town hall is situated on Burwood Road (not to be confused with the Burwood Highway which is called Toorak rd when it runs through Hawthorn) near the corner of Glenferrie Road and the Glenferrie Railway Station.

Swinburne University, formerly Swinburne Technical College, is situated near the town hall. It has an excellent reputation for the more creative or artistic technical courses. In the nineteen sixties, seventees and eightees it had the reputation for producing superior film makers to any other course in Australia, despite its relatively low funding.

Hawthorn is also home to The Hawthorn Football Club or The Hawks, an Australian Rules football club which is a member of the AFL.

Hawthorns streetscape and parks were planted with mostly introduced trees by the Victorian Preservation Society, a group of mad poms that spent the second half of the nineteenth century and earlier part of the twentieth trying to make Victoria look like England by going out of their way not preserving Australian flora and fauna.

Hawthorn is not known for its night life. It has a couple of night clubs and pubs but they are generally considered poor in comparison to other parts of Melbourne, although it is worth noting that it has more interesting night spots than any of its neighbouring suburbs, again with the exception of Richmond.

Haw"thorn` (?), n. [AS. hagaborn, haegorn. See Haw a hedge, and Thorn.] Bot.

A thorny shrub or tree (the Crataegus oxyacantha), having deeply lobed, shining leaves, small, roselike, fragrant flowers, and a fruit called haw. It is much used in Europe for hedges, and for standards in gardens. The American hawthorn is Crataegus cordata, which has the leaves but little lobed.

Gives not the hawthorn bush a sweeter shade To shepherds? Shak.


© Webster 1913.

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