Pittonia 3: 99. 1896.
Shrubs, 30–50 dm, often clonal. Stems: twigs: new growth green, glabrous, 1-year old reddish tan, older deep gray; bark on younger 2–5 cm thick branches mainly dark (with horizontal lenticels); thorns on twigs straight (often needlelike) or recurved, 2-years old black, shiny, ± fine, 1–3 cm (sometimes bigger and stouter). Leaves: petiole 0.8–1.8 cm; blade narrowly elliptic to bluntly elliptic-lanceolate, 3–5 cm, ± coriaceous, base narrowly cuneate, lobes 0, margins crenate, teeth numerous, small, obtuse, venation semicamptodromous, veins 6–9 (–12) per side, apex usually obtuse, sometimes acute, abaxial surface glabrous, adaxial appressed-pubescent young, glabrescent. Inflorescences 12-flowered; branches not glandular-punctate; bracteoles early caducous, few, margins eglandular or sessile-glandular. Flowers 10–13 mm diam.; sepals proximally broadly triangular with short, narrower limbs, 1.5–2 mm, margins not recorded, apex acute, pubescence not recorded; stamens 20, anthers cream; styles 5. Pomes black mature, orbicular, 8 mm diam.; sepals suberect, 1.5–2 mm, tips reflexed; pyrenes 3–5, sides irregular. 2n = 34, 51.
Phenology: Flowering May–Jun; fruiting Sep–Oct.
Habitat: Along streams, flood plains
Elevation: 1600–2400 m
Crataegus saligna is restricted to intermontane areas of northeastern Utah and adjacent Colorado; it may be locally plentiful and the plants flower early. The species may be confused with C. rivularis; it differs by its smaller flowers, fruit, and foliage, 20 stamens, cream anthers, and leaves relatively narrower, more venous, and with smaller, more obtuse teeth. It is more similar in flower and foliage to C. brachyacantha but has very different thorns and bark color, as well as irregular lateral faces of pyrenes.
Crataegus saligna is a striking plant with its suckering habit, its glowing copper-tan bark, long arching twigs and branches, dark green foliage, narrow and more or less lanceolate leaves, often beautifully reddish bronze foliage in fall, and black fruit.