In the middle of the park, the hawthorn blossom is pink; not uniformly pink but definitely pink in places. It seems to be confined to the hedges at the bottom end of Sleepers Field right through to the hedge at the top of the little triangular field that doesn’t have a name. It’s very pretty.
We enquired of Google, thinking that it might be something to do with the soil, the temperature, a different species or subspecies, or even a symptom of disease, all of which have been associated with colour differences in flowers. But Google doesn’t know.
Many authoritative voices are ready to agree that hawthorn flowers are white and sometimes pink but if you enquire further, you soon find yourself in the hands of people trying to sell you tincture of hawthorn for your congestive heart failure. Authorities also agree that the bright pink and red garden varieties of hawthorn (which are all cultivars of Crataegus laevigata) are sterile so it can’t be a cross-fertilisation thing like polyanthus turning your primroses red.
If it were just a matter of white and sometimes pink, why is it not consistently so throughout the whole park? Apart from in this one area, the rest of the park’s hawthorns have white flowers.
Is there anybody among our readership, either more informed than we are or better at picking the science out of a Google salad, who might be able to help?