Hawthorn Flowers Meaning & Symbolism

The Hawthorn flower, also known as the Mayflower due to its appearance around May time, has magical symbols and connotations. The Hawthorn tree, identifiable by its spaced-out leaves and woody thorns, is known to be undemanding as it grows almost anywhere with ease. This plant is well-known, especially for the symbols and meanings it holds.

The Hawthorn Flower symbolizes faith, hope, happiness, fertility and is magically enchanted. It is a very sacred tree in Celtic tradition and is often associated with the ancient festival held for Beltane, which was a celebration of the start of Spring. 

Not only does the Hawthorn Flower possess various meanings and symbols, but it also has been appearing in folklore, myths, and legends and has been used around the world for many years. There is a lot to learn about the Hawthorn flower, from holding mythical powers from beyond the mortal realm to holding a symbol of purity when used as a corsage for brides.

Symbolism Of The Hawthorn Flower

The name of the Hawthorn reveals a lot about the plant. The scientific name for Hawthorn is Crataegus Rhipidophylla and just looking at the plant’s name reveals a lot about the plant’s structure and connotation. “Hedge” comes from the old English word, “Haw.” The word “Hawthorn” was also derived from the Anglo-Saxon word for a fence with thorns which is a good description of the tree as it does indeed have thorns and can be grown as a hedge.

The Hawthorn falls under the Crataegus genus, which describes the plant when broken down into its two Greek derivatives. The Greek word “Kratos” means strength and refers to how hard the wood is and difficult to break. “Akis” means sharp and refers to the thorns on the plant. In this light, the Hawthorn is seen to be a symbol of strength.

Because of its strong, hardwood and sharp hardy thorns, the tree also holds the meaning of strength and protection. The symbol also comes from the fact that the plant can grow almost anywhere and for a very long time. The oldest known to date lived up to 400 years, which explains why they’re also used to symbolize longevity and abundance.

The tree is also a symbol of beauty. In May, the tiny flowers almost completely cover the top of the tree with a blanket of blossoms. The plant also symbolizes fertility as it produces generous supplies of leaves, flowers, and fruits. 

Traditionally, the beautiful tiny pink and white flowers symbolize love and affection, not necessarily in a romantic sense, but rather in a pure and open-hearted sense. It refers to a more unconditional type of love. The white color on the petals brings about a sense of purity and peace. 

Beliefs Around The Hawthorn Flower

In the Christian faith, Hawthorn is a powerful symbol. Jesus wore branches from the Hawthorn tree around his head during his crucifixion. The Celtics also held a special connection to the tree. They considered the Hawthorn to be one of the most sacred trees. It was an essential feature in the yearly festival that celebrated the oncoming of Spring. 

The Hawthorn also has a mystical side to it. In Ireland, it is known as the Fairy Tree, and It is believed that this is a tree that stood under the protection of fairies. They also refer to this magical tree as the lone bush or thorn, as it would be disrespectful to refer to the fairies by name.

Farmers are wary of simply just cutting the tree down or even trimming its branches as it’s believed that the fairies would come back, and whoever dared kill the tree would be the victim of the fairy’s revenge. 

In Britain, the Hawthorn was considered to be a symbol of love. Because it flowered in the warm Springtime of May, many couples had fallen in love under the beautiful tree. It was also considered a symbol of love in ancient Greece. For wedding ceremonies, brides would use Hawthorn flowers to decorate their hair and corsages. 

The Hawthorn Flower is not only a symbol of love, purity, and goodness – it has also been known to have a negative connotation to it. In London, after the Great Plague, the people of medieval times believed that the Hawthorn reminded them of the plague.

The reason for this, botanists later discovered, was that a particular chemical by the name of trimethylamine is present in the flower that is also released in decaying animal or human tissue. The people who had endured the plague had become accustomed to the smell of rotting flesh and were able to make the association between the smell of the Hawthorn and the mass passing of those affected by the plague.

The Chakra Connection With The Hawthorn Flower

Chakras are the movements of energy within one’s being. Each Chakra, situated in a different body area from the base of the spine to the top of the head, connects the physical realm with the spiritual realm. Each Chakra has a herb associated with it that assists with balancing the Chakras.

The Hawthorn Flower is associated with the Heart Chakra, which is the Chakra that is situated right in the center. When this Chakra is aligned, one feels an enormous sense of forgiveness, love, and compassion. You can sip tea made from Hawthorn berries, flowers, or leaves to help alleviate emotional blockages in the heart.

Meaning Of The Hawthorn Flower In Dreams

When you dream about the Hawthorn flower, it means that there will be an abundance of success in your near future. It is, however, a symbol of adaptability, so if seen in dreams, things need to be put into place (such as financial aspects) to achieve success. Because of its thorns, the Hawthorn symbolizes a difficult time ahead which will ultimately be worth the difficulty because of the borne fruit.


The Hawthorn Flower is a remarkable plant for its symbolism, meaning, and uses. A symbol of love, purity, and fertility, the pink and white blossoms hold a sense of magic and wonder. Deep into history and for time to come, the Hawthorn will be remembered for its beauty and the happy feeling that it brings.