Crataegus laevigata, known as the midland hawthorn, English hawthorn, woodland hawthorn or mayflower, is a species of hawthorn native to western and central Europe, from Great Britain (where it is largely confined to lowland ancient woodland) and Spain east to the Czech Republic and Hungary. It is also present in North Africa.
Crataegus is a large genus of plants that belong to the rose family (Rosaceae) and contains around 280 species. About 60 species are native to Europe and Asia and more are endemic to North America.T hese species cross breed easily with each other and thus exhibit an endless variety. There are few plant species that confuse botanists more than hawthorn.
Until recently, it was mostly the hawthorn berries that were used in herbal medicine and preparations but after it was discovered that the leaves and flowers contain more of the active substances most preparations are now made from a combination of the leaves and flowers.