Sceach geal (Irish name), fairy bush, Mayflower, Hagthorn... all are names for the May flowering hawthorn, Crataegus monogyna.
Arriving home to Ireland from my Mom's a few days ago, I was thrilled at the sight of the hawthorns in bloom from the air. It was so unexpected, it was almost a shock to see them all with their white blossoms. When I left, it was still spring, now I come home to the start of summer.
The flowering of the hawthorns begins the warm season, the season of brightly lit evenings and early morning sunshine.
Everything is lush and green, frothy white trees, shrubs, and cow-parsley waving in the wind.
It is said that cattle kept within a field surrounded by hawthorn will thrive.
There are rows and rows of these white flowered trees everywhere, it makes the landscape quite magical for a few weeks.
Like entering a dreamworld almost...
In Celtic folklore, it is said that faeries inhabit these "May Trees". One must be careful not to pause too long under a hawthorn, or you could be transported into the land of fae for a few moments. On coming back to the land of mortals, time will have passed for several years.
I guess I better hop back on my bike, and move on, hm? Is it still 2008?
It is also said that it's bad luck to bring in the branches or flowers of the hawthorn into your home, as it will bring illness or death. Also, it's not a good idea to injure one or chop one down, for it will incur the wrath of the faerie folk who inhabit the tree.
If you tie a colored ribbon on a branch of a hawthorn, it will be viewed as a gift to the spirit, and will bring you luck. Yellow for friendship and happiness, red for love, green for wealth, and blue for health.
A pink hawthorn between two whites. Isn't it a beautiful sight?
I'm posting this for the June Festival of the Trees, hosted this month by Wrenaissance Reflections.