Any of various thorny shrubs or small trees of the genus Crataegus, in the rose family, native to the northern temperate zone. Many species are native to North America. The simple leaves are usually toothed or lobed. Hawthorns bear white or pink flowers, usually in clusters, and small applelike, red (rarely blue or black) fruits. Many cultivated varieties are grown as ornamentals for their attractive flowers and fruits. The hawthorn is well suited for hedgerows; its combination of sturdy twigs, hard wood, and many thorns makes it a formidable barrier to cattle and hogs.