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.
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The original Glastonbury Thorn tree grew at Glastonbury Abbey and is reputed to have sprung from the staff of Joseph of Arimathea, when he arrived in 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.