May blossom

Hawthorn, perhaps because it is so common, is I think underrated and not sufficiently appreciated.

Not only does it have beautiful flowers, it also has more lore and history attached to it than perhaps any other British tree.

Richard Mabey fascinating book Flora Britannica has several pages devoted to Hawthorn. For a start it has had seventeen different names applied to it over the centuries including such oddities as Mother-die and Hoppety-haws.

Its blossom has been widely used as decoration at May Day celebrations. This may be odd as in much of the country it does not bloom until the middle of the month. But this can probably be explained by the fact before the revision of the Calendar in 1752 May Day fell on what is now the 12th. Of May.

Perhaps the best known lore is that it is thought to be bad luck to bring flowering May inside the house. Many consequences of this are recorded including the belief that it will lead to the death of your mother. The very distinctive perfume of the blossom may also be related to this.

The most famous Hawthorn is the Holy Thorn at Glastonbury which produces flowers and foliage in mid-winter and then does so again in May.

Whatever you believe it is a fine sight and worth a Blip

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