The Q&A Archives: Shrub or tree identity

Question: Please help me identify a shrub or tree. I saw only a branch in a vase. I was told it MIGHT be a Hawthorne but I don't know what that looks like. The leaves reminded me of a Chrysanthemum, the flowers were small, red with white centers, and rounded petals. I was told it was a shrub that reached a height of about 12 ft.
Thank you.

Answer: What you describe could very well be a hawthorne. The foliage is similar to that of chrysantehmums. The flowers of the hawthorne are interspersed with the newly opened leaves and look like tiny white balls. When they open they have five snow-white petals set around slender stamens with bright pink heads. The cultivar 'Crimson Cloud' ('Superba') has bright red single flowers with white centers and bright red fruit.

On the back of each hawthorne flower are five green, star-like sepals. Below this the stalk looks slightly swollen, for it contains the seed, which by summer grows into a small green berry. By fall they have grown and ripened into a shiny red berry, hanging on long-stalked bunches. Birds, mice and other creatures love to eat them and help propagation by dropping the seeds wherever they go.

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