Share your observations

Share your observations of plants or non-game animals with the Natural Heritage Inventory

Rare animals
Find rare and non-game animals.
Rare plants
Learn about plants on the Natural Heritage Working List.
Rare lichens
Discover Wisconsin's lichens.
Natural communities
Explore Wisconsin's natural communities.
Other features
Discover unique resources.
Rare plant monitoring annual report

Catch up with the latest news in rare plant monitoring efforts throughout Wisconsin.

Eagle license plate

Help care for rare plants and animals by ordering an Endangered Resources plate.

Contact information
For information on Wisconsin's rare plants, contact:
Kevin Doyle

Dunbar's Hawthorn (Crataegus beata)

Life history

Species overview

Dunbar's Hawthorn (Crataegus beata), a plant, is found in thickets and open woods. Blooming occurs May; fruiting occurs September through October. The optimal identification period for this species is May through early fall.



  • Distinguishing characteristics: Distinguished by tan or brownish-black one-year old wood, one-year thorns, narrow and sharply dissected leaves, and glandular-serrate sepals.
  • Flower characteristics: White flowers 1.5 to 2 cm wide in a glabrous compound corymb. Sepals are narrowly triangular with slightly glandular, subentire margins. 20 stames with maroon anthers; 3 or 4 styles.
  • Fruit characteristics: Crimson pomes that are somewhat glaucous, oblong to oblong-obovoid, 1.2 to 1.6 cm thick, with 4 or 5 dorsally grooved pyrenes.
  • Leaf characteristics: Leaves are broadly ovate to deltate-ovate, 5 to 8 cm wide and leathery, with bases broadly rounded, subtruncate, or sometimes broadly cuneate, having 4 or 5 lobes per side with apexes acute to acuminate; margins strongly serrated; 5 veins per side; glabrous, although the adaxial side may have short, villous hairs when young. Petioles are 2.5 to 4 cm long and densely glandular; hairy when young.


  • Blooming phenology: May
  • Fruiting phenology: September through October
  • Optimum time to identify: The optimal identification period for this species is May through early fall


  • Growth form: Shrub
  • Vegetative reproduction:
  • Life cycle: Perennial
  • Comments:

State status

Status and Natural Heritage Inventory documented occurrences in Wisconsin

Dunbar's Hawthorn (Crataegus beata) is on the "watch list." Watch list species have experienced, or are believed to have experienced, a statewide or range wide decline, but they are not currently tracked in the Natural Heritage Inventory (NHI) database. The watch list includes newly discovered species for which origin and rarity need to be determined, certain animals designated as Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) in the Wisconsin Wildlife Action Plan, and species that were tracked in the past but proved more abundant, widespread or less vulnerable than previously thought. Although watch list species are not actively tracked by NHI, occurrences documented during surveys are often stored by NHI, as these species could be tracked in the future if there is further evidence of their decline.

Summary Information
State Statusnone
Federal Status in Wisconsinnone
State RankSH
Global RankG2G4
Tracked by NHIW

Habitats and landscapes

The Natural Heritage Inventory has developed scores indicating the degree to which each of Wisconsin's rare plant species is associated with a particular natural community or ecological landscape. This information is similar to that found in the Wildlife Action Plan for animals. As this is a work in progress, we welcome your suggestions and feedback.

General habitat information

  • Habitat description: Found in thickets and open woods.
  • Soils: well-draining soils

Natural communities

This table lists the natural communities that are associated with Dunbar's Hawthorn. Scores for natural community associations are: "significant" association (score=3), "moderate association" (score=2) or the species can be present but is only weakly associated with the community (score=1).

Natural communities score

Ecological landscapes

This table lists the ecological landscape association scores for Dunbar's Hawthorn. The scores (3=High, 2=Moderate, 1=Low, 0=None) also correspond to the map.

Map of the Ecological Landscapes of Wisconsin.

Ecological landscape score

Species guidance

The Endangered Resources Program has developed avoidance measures and management guidelines for plants on the Natural Heritage Working List. These are a work in progress, and we welcome your suggestions and feedback. Sources used in developing this information can be found here.

Avoidance measures

These are specific actions designed to avoid "take" (mortality) of this species.

  • No avoidance measures have been developed for this species.

Management guidance

Management guidelines are additional considerations that may help maintain or enhance habitat for this species

  • No guidance has been developed for this species.


Dunbar's Hawthorn Photo.

Scanned specimen courtesy of Wisconsin Herbarium

Support for Wisconsin's rare plant information has been provided by the Division of Forestry, the Endangered Resources Fund and the Wisconsin Rare Plant Preservation Fund. To donate, visit the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin [exit DNR].

Last revised: Wednesday, May 05, 2021
Southwest Savanna Southern Lake Michigan Coastal Western Coulees and Ridges Southeast Glacial Plains Central Sand Hills Central Lake Michigan Coastal Central Sand Plains Northern Lake Michigan Coastal Northern Lake Michigan Coastal Northeast Sands Western Prairie North Central Forest Northern Highlands Northwest Lowlands Northwest Sands Northwest Lowlands Superior Coastal Plains Forest Transition