Wild Florida Photo
Nature Photography by Paul Rebmann
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An occasional deciduous shrub or small tree of moist to wet hammocks and stream banks in the central panhandle counties of Liberty, Gadsden, Jackson and Holmes, plus Okaloosa County in the western panhandle. The range extends throughout the southeastern United States, west into Texas and Oklahoma, and north to Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Virginia.
Growing to about 8 m (26 ft.) tall with brownish bark that strips off in thin plates. Littlehip hawthorn often has sharp thorns along slightly zigzag branches. Leaves are alternate, simple, broadest above the middle and tapering towards the base, from 1-4 cm (3/8 - 1-1/5 in.) long with mostly crenate margins. Leaves near the ends of branches may by larger and three lobed. Flowers are in dense, showy clusters, white to pink, 7-10 mm (1/4 - 3/8 in.) wide, with triangular petals. The fruit is round, bright red and 4-7 mm (1/8 - 1/4 in.) in diameter.