Bot. Gaz. 30: 339. 1900.
Shrubs, 30–50 dm. Stems: twigs: new growth densely pubescent, 1-year old tan to chestnut, ± shiny, older gray; thorns on twigs few to numerous, 2-years old shiny, very dark-brown to black, ± slender, 2–3 cm. Leaves: petiole length 25% blade, densely pubescent, stipitate-glandular; blade mid green, elliptic to narrowly obovate, 3–6 cm, base cuneate, lobes 0 or obscure, margins glandular-serrate, teeth to 1.5 mm, proximal teeth stipitate-glandular, veins 5–7 per side, apex acute to subacute, abaxial surface sparsely pubescent or glabrous, veins hairy, adaxial shiny, scabrous. Inflorescences 3–10-flowered, arising proleptically (subterminal on perennial short-shoots); branches densely villous; bracteoles caducous, linear, 4–8 mm, herbaceous to membranous, margins stipitate-glandular. Flowers (15–) 20–23 mm diam.; hypanthium tomentose; sepals narrowly triangular, 6–7 mm, margins glandular-pectinate, abaxially pilose; stamens 20 (–25), anthers cream, sometimes pink; styles 3 (–5) (with bristly hairs at bases). Pomes orange-red to deep red, 10–14 mm diam., densely short-pubescent; sepals patent-incurved; pyrenes 3 (–5). 2n = 68.
Phenology: Flowering Apr; fruiting Sep–Nov.
Habitat: Brush, open woodlands
Elevation: 0–300 m
Ala., La., Miss., Tenn.
Crataegus ashei occurs from Louisiana to Alabama and is apparently scarce.
Crataegus ashei has often been confused with both C. triflora (ser. Triflorae) and C. harbisonii; it differs from C. triflora in its different growth habit with branching more or less layered and leaves smallish, flowers smaller, stamens 20–24, and leaves usually more coriaceous and shiny with lobes absent. Crataegus ashei is more similar to C. harbisonii, mainly differing in being smaller in its vegetative parts, invariably lacking reproductive side shoots of the season, and by having entire leaves.