In a Nutshell:
* It is named after David Douglas , who collected seed from the plant during his botanical explorations. This thorny shrub is native to northern and western North America, where it grows in varied habitats from forest to scrubland. It is most abundant in the Pacific Northwest .
* This is a compact erect bushy shrub covered in fan-shaped green leaves with teeth along the distal margin. Thorns along the branches are one to two centimeters long. White flowers with greenish centers grow in bunches at the ends of each thin branch.
* The fruit is a very dark purple pome up to about a centimeter across. The fruits were a good food source for Native American peoples such as the Cheyenne and Nlaka'pamux . more...
* The fruit raw or cooked. has a very pleasant flavour with a sweet and juicy succulent flesh, it makes an excellent dessert fruit and can be eaten in quantity.
* The fruit can also be used for making pies, preserves etc, and can be dried for later use. The fruit is about 8mm in diameter and is borne in small clusters.
* Fruit - raw or cooked. A very pleasant flavour, it is slightly mealy but juicy and can be eaten in quantity as a dessert fruit. It is also used in making pies, preserves etc and can be dried for later use. The fruit is up to 11mm in diameter and is borne in small clusters. There are up to five fairly large seeds in the centre of the fruit, these often stick together and so the effect is of eating a cherry-like fruit with a single seed.
* The fruits I have eaten have been considerably larger than this. There are up to five fairly large seeds in the centre of the fruit, these often stick together and so the effect is of eating a cherry-like fruit with a single seed. more...
* A very easily grown plant, it prefers a well-drained moisture retentive loamy soil but is not at all fussy. Once established, it succeeds in excessively moist soils and also tolerates drought. It grows well on a chalk soil and also in heavy clay soils. A position in full sun is best when plants are being grown for their fruit, they also succeed in semi-shade though fruit yields and quality will be lower in such a position.
* Wood - heavy, hard, tough, close-grained. Useful for making tool handles, mallets and other small items.
* Seed - this is best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame, some of the seed will germinate in the spring, though most will probably take another year. Stored seed can be very slow and erratic to germinate, it should be warm stratified for 3 months at 15°c and then cold stratified for another 3 months at 4°c. It may still take another 18 months to germinate. Scarifying the seed before stratifying it might reduce this time.
* Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, the fruits and flowers of many hawthorns are well-known in herbal folk medicine as a heart tonic and modern research has borne out this use. The fruits and flowers have a hypotensive effect as well as acting as a direct and mild heart tonic. They are especially indicated in the treatment of weak heart combined with high blood pressure. Prolonged use is necessary for it to be efficacious. It is normally used either as a tea or a tincture. more...