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Glastonbury Thorn

Crataegus monogyna
Glastonbury Thorn is listed in the RHS Plants for Pollinators

The Glastonbury Thorn is a form of the common hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)  found in the area around Glastonbury, Somerset.

It will often flower twice in the same year - an initial flush of flowers around Christmas, followed by the main flowering later in the spring. For this reason it is sometimes known as Biflora.

The species Crataegus monogyna is commonly used for hedging on account of its dense and thorny branches. It also provides a good habitat for birds, and is attractive to caterpillars and bees.

Glastonbury Thorn hawthorn trees for sale

    Sorry we have not produced any trees of this variety this season.


    The original Glastonbury Thorn tree grew in or near the grounds of Glastonbury Abbey. It is reputed to have sprung from the staff of Joseph of Arimathea, when he arrived at Glastonbury in the first century AD to introduce Christianity. The unusual characteristic of flowering at Christmas time enhanced its miraculous nature.

    The original tree (or a close successor) was destroyed in the 17th century during the English Civil War, however by that time many other trees had been propagated from it in the local area. 

    A spray of flowers has traditionally been sent to the reigning monarch of England since the time of King James 1st.

    Glastonbury Thorn characteristics

    • Gardening skillBeginner
    • Attractive featuresAttractive flowersAutumn foliage colourScented flowers
    • Growth habitUpright-spreading / Vase
    • Height after 10 years3m-5m / 10ft-16ft
    • PruningLight prune
    • Growth rateAverage
    • Site conditionsCoastal siteOccasional flooding
    • WildlifeAttractive to birdsRHS Plants for Pollinators
    • Flower colourCream
    • Flower formSingle flower (5-8 petals)
    • Flowering monthJanuaryAprilDecember
    • Leaf colourGreen
    • Fruit colourRed - dark
    • Fruit sizeSmall
    • Country of originUnited Kingdom