Blackthorn flowers appear before the leaves and the Hawthorn leaves appear before the flowers.

In England, in May, you can't miss the Hawthorn. It is an extremely common tree in the English countryside, especially in hedges. Hawthorns are virtually synonymous with hedges. As many as 200,000 miles of Hawthorn hedge were planted in the Parliamentary Enclosure period, between 1750 and 1850. The name 'haw' derives from 'hage', the Old English for 'hedge'.
The tree gives its beautiful display of flowers in late April/early May. It is known as the May Tree and the blossom itself is called May. Source.


 19 May 2021

Hawthorn on Mill Hill

17 May 2021

Hawthorn in Old Shoreham

27 April 2021

Hawthorn on the town side of the A27 near Holmbush
These smaller than normal flowers were the first of the year.

22 April 2021

Blackthorn on Mill Hill

21 April 2021

Hawthorn on the downs near Holmbush

Adur Trees 2021

22 March 2021

Blackthorn at Upper Beeding

19 March 2021

Blackthorn at Old Shoreham

Blackthorn and Cherry Plum (differences)


12 May 2020

Mill Hill from the western towpath of the River Adur
The silver blossom is the Hawthorn

Hawthorn, Downs Link (Mill Hill in the background)

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
(Shakespeare's Sonnet 18)

4 May 2020

Hawthorn was splendidly in blossom, best seen from the western towpath north of Old Shoreham. I think the peak blossom is yet to show though.

23 April 2020

Blackpatch Grove, Dovecote Estate, Shoreham-by-Sea

April showers bring forth May flowers.


22 April 2020

Buckingham Road, Shoreham-by-Sea

19 April 2020
The first Hawthorn of the year flowered on the verges of the footpath section of the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham. 

The Blackthorn at the same location had disappeared reduced to a solitary flower.


19 March 2020

Blackthorn was flowering in the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham, one bush ahead of the rest.

18 March 2020

Blackthorn at Cuckoo's Corner

At Cuckoo's Corner, the Blackthorn bush was profusely in flower.

16 March 2020

Mill Hill Copse


April 2019

Top of Chanctonbury Drive, north Shoreham

Blackthorn                                                 Hawthorn

22 April 2019

First Hawthorn
Buckingham Road, Shoreham

8 April 2019
Blackthorn dominated the white blossom plentiful in the hedgerows and amongst the scrub on the downs. Cherry Plum had virtually finished and so had the early Blackthorn, but Hawthorn was yet to flower in the wild.


29 March 2019


Blackthorn was in flower and Hawthorn was in leaf at Cuckoo's Corner on the Coombes Road.

28 March 2019

Cherry Plum

Blackthorn was simultaneously in flower near the Waterworks Road, Old Shoreham.
The sepals are reflexed (like in the Bulbous Buttercup) in Cherry Plum.

Blackthorn and Cherry Plum (differences)