Hawthorn (Crataegus)


In 1923, Gov. Arthur M. Hyde signed a bill naming the hawthorn blossom the official Missouri state floral emblem. There are approximately 75 separate species of hawthorn plants found in the state. All of these varieties have white blossoms with five petals that are similar in appearance to apple blossoms. In the fall, the trees sprout small clusters of red fruit, which is where the hawthorn gets its nickname “red haw.” Hawthorns are found statewide.


Revised Statutes of Missouri (RSMo)

§10.030. State floral emblem. – The hawthorn, the blossom of the tree commonly called the “red haw” or “wild haw” and scientifically designated as “crataegus”, is declared to be the floral emblem of Missouri, and the state department of agriculture shall recognize it as such and encourage its cultivation on account of the beauty of its flower, fruit and foliage. (L. 1923 H.B. 135; RSMo 1929 § 14315; RSMo 1939 § 15440; RSMo 1949 § 10.090; A.L. 1957 p. 726)

approved 13 June 1957
effective 28 August 1957


Photo Gallery:

Click on an image below to enlarge and read a caption. This will open a new window in the Missouri State Symbols Flickr album.

symbols/RG104_TourismC_199_41335.jpg symbols/MS192_OB10_043.jpg symbols/hawthorn2.jpg


Additional Resources:

The history of Missouri’s state flower is storied. Read an account of the many different flowers that were proposed from 1893-1923 to represent the Show-Me-State. (This essay was also printed in the Summer/Fall 2020 Friends of the Missouri State Archives newsletter.)

See the Missouri Department of Conservation State Documents Collection finding aid for a circular on the hawthorn tree.


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