5.5.11

Irish native Hawthorn ... Crataegus monogyna .. Sceach Gheal





I have photographed this little tree which grows on Foxglove Lane over the years and at different times and seasons. Although native to Ireland The Hawthorn, also grows in parts of Europe, Africa and Asia.

When I was a child these trees were considered to be either magical or holy and I often saw them littered with offerrings and talismen. Farmers around here would go out of their way to avoid them for fear of the "faeries" who were said to live near them, in them,  and frolic beneath them.

Although the blossoms at this time of the year are beautiful, they are never brought into the house, for fear of bad luck. I have also heard that tying a symbolic rag to the tree brings good luck, there are no end of different traditions and tales.

This tree demonstrates the magical quality we have attributed to it. It is so self contained. It stands there quietly unique in all it's proud glory. Yet........it demands our attention when we pass!

2 comments:

  1. Lovely post. According to Cyril & Kit O'Ceirin's book Wild and Free, Hawthorn Blossom was made into a wine in North Tipperary, Newport area to be prescise.This was about 60 or 70 years ago. Not folklore but interesting.
    Some believe that the crown of thorns placed on the head of Christ was made from Hawthorn.

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  2. Very nice! The hawthorn has always been one of my favourite trees, traveling through Ireland at this time of year then their flowers are blooming is heavenly, they're so beautiful. Also that gorgeous scent reminds me of summery mornings at home in Tipperary. I love the history this tree has and the associations it has with fairy folk! I read once that at their roots lie the doors to the underworld of the Tuatha de Dannan. And only last weekend I was out for a wander here in Dundrum with my husband when we came across a Church of Ireland church that has a hawthorn tree growing right in the middle of the paved car park, directly in front of the church. It seemed like such a powerfully reverent act of respect to the old ways, to leave a tree like that standing in the church yard :)

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