The genus Crataegus (Rosaceae) in Armenia (an updated review)

  • M. V. Sargsyan A. L. Takhtajan Institute of Botany
Keywords: dendroflora of Armenia; biodiversity; taxonomic key; species identification; endemics.


The Rosaceae family plays a leading role in the dendroflora of Armenia. The Pyrus, Sorbus, Crataegus, Cotoneaster, Rubus and Rosa genera representing the family are of great importance in Armenia in the formation of various plant coexistences. With its species composition and taxonomic diversity, Crataegus is one of the largest genera in the Rosaceae family. Growing in Armenia in low, medium and high mountain zones, Crataegus has a great role in the formation of dendroflora: they are an important element of a number of forest coexistences, form a sub-forest with other representatives of dendroflora, grow in arid sparse forests, scrub, shoreline areas of mountain rivers. Crataegus is a valuable plant resource. Some species produce tasty and nutritious fruits that are rich in sugars, organic acids, mineral salts and vitamins. Since ancient times, the people of Armenia have used it in food and folk medicine, for example there is a decoction of hawthorn root and bark dyed threads. Currently, Crataegus has great economic importance. Drought-resistant and frost-resistant species are used as grafts for obtaining high-value varieties of apple, pear, and quince, decorative species are suitable for greening cities and settlements, creating living fences. Furniture and carpentry tools are made from its hard and strong natural wood. Due to their hardiness, some species of Crataegus are promising for the creation of arid arboretums in the lower and middle mountain zones of Armenia. In Armenia the genus Crataegus is represented by 23 species belonging to three sections: Crataegus, Pentagynae C. K. Schneid. and Azaroli Loud. Species C. ulotricha Pojark. ex Gladkova, C. razdanica Pojark. ex Sargsyan, C. gabrielianae Pojark. ex Sargsyan, C. susanykleinae Gabrieljan et Sargsyan and C. gregorianii Gabrielian et Sargsyan are endemic to Armenia. An updated key is provided to identify species based on new data. Altitudinal and geographical distribution of species, habitat, flowering and fruiting time are given.


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