History: A noted tree throughout the ages. For the Greeks it was a symbol of hope and the flowering branches decorated weddings. In England it provided branches for the maypole. The Mayflower was named after the tree to symbolize the hope of the pilgrims in their voyage to America. Haw is an old English word for “hedge,” so the tree’s name means “thorny hedge.” Its Latin name, Crataegus, means “hardness” referring to the quality of the wood. Reputed to have provided Christ’s crown of thorns. The legend of the Glastonbury Thorn, a miraculous tree that was said to have leaves and flowers in the spring and again on Christmas Day, arose from the belief that Joseph of Arimathea stuck his hawthorn staff into the hill and it at once put forth leaves and blossom. In England the tree is also synonymous with the month when its flowers begin to bloom. In France, hawthorn has a religious connotation: Norman peasants for years put sprigs of the tree in their caps to reflect the belief that Christ’s crown of thorns was made of hawthorn.