Plant of the Month: Mayblossom
Mayblossom, or hawthorn, is a deciduous shrub that blooms in May, showing small, white, fragrant flowers and red, berry-like pommes that ripen from September to November. Today, Mayblossom is usually grown as a hedge plant for agricultural use because its thorns and close-growing branches make it difficult for livestock to pass through, but the Mayblossom’s history and medicinal significance makes this thorny shrub a lot more significant than just a form of farm security.
The fruit of the Mayblossom, called haws, have been used to flavor jellies, jams, syrups, wine and brandy. The young blossoms and leaves are also edible and have been used in fresh, spring salads. Mayblossoms are also one of the most widely used herbs in alternative medicine, with evidence-based significance in treating cardiac insufficiency and is a good source of antioxidants, especially as an extract.
In many ancient cultures, the Mayblossom was considered a portal into the fairy realm as the entrance’s guardian and protector. In Irish Folklore it was bad luck to cut the Mayblossom for fear of disturbing the fairies that lived inside, except for during May Day celebrations where flowers and greenery were collected and brought into the home to banish evil spirits. In Ancient Greece and Rome the Mayblossom was used in marriage rites and for protection over newborn children.
May Day is on May first, celebrating spring’s fertility and the coming of summer. Celebrate today by bringing good health and positive energy into your life with this mystic shrub!