Blackhaw tree facts are not only useful but they are also very interesting. They have been used for centuries in various cultures all over the world. Some of them even have their own mythology associated with them. Blackhaws are known as the ‘tree of life’ because they contain a variety of different herbs and spices which make it highly effective against many diseases and ailments. Blackhaws are often referred to as the ‘tree of immortality’.
The Blackhaw tree is native to Africa. There are several species of black haw trees, each with its own unique characteristics. Most of these species grow in tropical regions such as South America, Central and West Africa, Madagascar and other parts of Asia. The most common black haw tree found in North America is the American black hawk (Heteromeles nigra). Other species include the African black haw (Heteromeles melanosporus), the Asian black haw (Heteromeles rubrolineata) and the Mexican black haw (Heteromeles pruinosa).
The Blackhaw tree is one of the oldest cultivated plants in history. Native Americans used it for medicine, food and clothing. The plant was also used as a source of dye and for making paper. The fruit, leaves and roots were often used as a culinary spice.
The fruit of the black haw tree is edible. They can either be eaten fresh or cooked into jams, jellies and other preserves. The leaves of the tree can be used as a wrap for food and to make tea. The flowers can also be made into a tea which can help relieve pain and soothe the stomach.
The leaves of the tree contain flavonoids and are anti-inflammatory, diuretic, laxative, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antidiabetic and anticancerous. The root of the tree is used to treat dandruff, skin conditions and hair loss. Blackhaw can help treat diarrhea and dysentery, fight off fungus and yeast infections, prevent malaria and protect against tuberculosis. It can also help reduce fevers, lower blood pressure, prevent strokes and eliminate intestinal worms. The bark contains tannins which are astringent and can be used to treat poison ivy, dermatitis, eczema and acne.
Blackhaws are easy to grow and thrive in many different types of soil. They can be propagated by seeds, softwood cuttings, hardwood cuttings and grafting. The tree grows rapidly and will begin producing fruit in a few years.
Blackhaws can tolerate a large range of soil types, but prefers fertile soil. They grow best in full sun exposure and require at least 65 cm of space between each tree planted. Blackhaws have a long life span and can live up to 150 years, but will begin producing fruit after 5-10 years.
Blackhaws are known to attract bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and other insects which help to create a balanced ecosystem. They are also resistant to many types of pests and diseases which makes them a highly desirable tree.
The tree provides a source of shelter, food, fuel, medicine and materials for building homes and other structures. They also provide fruit which can be eaten or used to make preserves, jellies, jams and other edibles. Blackhaws are easy to maintain and grow rapidly. They are tolerant to most weather conditions and grow in a variety of soil types. Blackhaws are easy to propagate from seeds, cuttings or layering.
They have a long lifespan, produce edible and medicinal fruit and attract beneficial insects and animals.
Although the tree produces medicine, food and other useful resources for humans, the blackhaw tree is toxic to animals if ingested. Its fruit is known to cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain in some animals including horses. The twigs, leaves and bark can also cause gastrointestinal upset, respiratory distress and central nervous system issues.
The seed of the blackhaw is not edible for humans as it may contain a toxic alkaloid called harman. This toxin can interfere with muscle function and cause paralysis. However, when the seed has gone through the digestive process it becomes neutralized and is safe to consume. The rest of the plant is non-toxic and can be ingested without harm. Blackhaws can be used to make many different types of tea, but should not be consumed in excessive amounts.
The flowers and leaves of the tree can be used to create a dye which can be used to color cloth or yarn. The color produced is a reddish-purple.
Blackhaws can be harvested throughout the year, but the fruit of the tree is most abundant during late summer and early fall. The fruit can be eaten fresh or used to make preserves, syrups, marmalades and other types of edibles. The fruit has a tart taste and contains an inedible hard seed. While the fruit is ripe it can be crushed to make a juice. The seed and core can be used as livestock feed or to make oil.
The wood of the tree is hard and heavy, but is difficult to work with. It can be used as firewood or to make items such as tool handles, levers, wheels, carts, ladders, plows and other outdoor equipment. The tree can be easily grown and harvested to provide a stable supply of wood.
Blackhaws are a small to medium-sized tree that grow up to 25 meters in height and can live up to 150 years. The bark is a grey-brown color with shallow fissures, broad ridges and thin scales. Blackhaws can be either single-trunked or have several main branches. The leaves are dark green, narrow and folded lengthwise. The flowers are small, pink and clustered at the branch tips.
The fruit produced by blackhaws is a berry and green when unripe. It turns yellow and then a deep glossy red when ripe. A fully ripened blackhaw has a hard outer shell with one large seed near the center. There is also a thin layer of soft edible flesh surrounding this. Blackhaws are more popular with birds and small mammals than humans.
Blackhaws are a species of tree that can be found in wet forests, bottomlands, swamps and riparian areas in regions of temperate climate. In Western Europe it is common and widespread from Britain to the Caucasus. Blackhaws are also native to northwest Africa and the Middle East. They are less common in the far north of Europe, but can be found as far north as southern Scandinavia. Blackhaws have been introduced to North America, Australia, New Zealand and other far away islands.
They are cultivated for their fruit and wood in many of these locations.
The following poem by William Butler Yeats is a good description of the tree’s common name “black haw”
Sources & references used in this article:
The Viburnum Lentago Clade: A Continental Radiation by E Spriggs – arnoldia.arboretum.harvard.edu
Colonization dynamics of four exotic plants in a northern Piedmont natural area by DJ Robertson, MC Robertson, T Tague – Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical club, 1994 – JSTOR
Native Texas plants: Landscaping region by region by S Wasowski, A Wasowski – 2003 – books.google.com
Fruit Key and Twig Key to Trees and Shrubs: Fruit Key to Northeastern Trees and Twig Key to the Desiduous [sic] Woody Plants of Eastern North America by WM Harlow – 1959 – books.google.com
Indian Herbalogy of North America: The Definitive Guide to Native Medicinal Plants and Their Uses by AR Hutchens – 1991 – books.google.com
American plants for American gardens by FT Parsons – 1914 – C. Scribner’s sons