Crataegus chrysocarpa var. vernonensis
Sida 21: 73, fig. 3. 2004.
Shrubs, 20–35 dm. Leaves: blade ovate to rhombic-ovate, base ± cuneate, sinuses: max LII 10–15%, lobe apex subacute, veins 3 or 4 per side, abaxial surface glabrous, veins pilose, adaxial appressed-scabrous-pubescent, persistent. Inflorescences: branches lanate. Flowers 18–20 mm diam.; hypanthium lanate proximally, glabrous distally; stamens 8–10, anthers pale-pink. Pomes burgundy to nearly black, suborbicular, 10–12 mm diam., pubescent.
Phenology: Flowering May; fruiting late Aug.
Habitat: Xeric habitats, sometimes sandy soil
Elevation: 300–400 m
Of conservation concern.
Variety vernonensis is locally common in the northern Okanagan valley between Vernon and Salmon Arm. Because of its extreme habitat for a hawthorn and its early ripening, pomes are apt to shrivel by September, when pomes of other hawthorns in the area are usually still plump. Possibly that is why it is under-collected. For the same reason, the variety is seldom found growing among the larger, more mesomorphic sympatric hawthorns. The variety is among the earliest to flower of the hawthorns of its area.
Variety vernonensis is remarkably uniform in its diagnostic characteristics. The multi-stemmed, relatively little-branching, erect habit is conspicuous in well-developed plants, as are the lanate inflorescences, pale pink anthers, and pomes already ripe and burgundy in late August. These characters help to distinguish the taxon from other members of ser. Rotundifoliae, while the tendency to subacute lobes in the leaf helps to distinguish it in midsummer from rare lanate forms of sympatric var. chrysocarpa.