It’s time for Homosassa River Garden Club’s annual Arbor Day Giveaway! Last year we ran out quickly, so you are encouraged to arrive early for the best chance at getting a tree of your own. This year’s selection is Parsley Haw (Crataegus marshallii).
The Parsley Haw is an attractive native tree, averaging 25′ tall by 12′ wide. Naturally found in open to partly shaded areas along the moist edges of woodlands, they are quite tolerant of dry soils once established. Named for the ornamental foliage that resembles garden parsley, it flushes with flowers and pollinators March-May, producing bright red berries in fall before the leaves change color and drop, revealing the handsome peeling bark and thorny branches.
Most birds don’t favor the fruit, allowing for longer human enjoyment and a persistent winter food supply for other animals. It is a host plant for the Hummingbird Clearwing moth, the Striped Hairstreak butterfly, and the Blinded Sphinx moth. Many birds will use it for shelter and nesting. The tree’s small size, and tolerance of poor soil conditions make them a showy, low-maintenance and hardy landscape plant in Florida. Suitable for zones 4-9, no salt tolerance.
Parsley haw has been used all over the world as an herbal tonic to strengthen the heart. It is currently used as an additive in medicines that reduce high blood pressure.
The is much encouraging research on the physical benefits of just being around trees. MNN reports: research by the USDA’s Forest Service showed that people who live around trees are physically healthier: “About 850 lives are saved each year, the number of acute respiratory symptoms is lower by about 670,000 incidents each year, and the total health care savings attributed to pollution removal by trees is around $7 billion a year.”
The data reveals that there are many benefits, such as lower crime rates, improved mental outlook, longer life expectancy, and unfortunately that lower-income neighborhoods typically have less tree cover and could benefit from having more trees.
So, join us in celebrating Florida’s Arbor Day on Saturday and take home a tree for yourself, or share with a friend. It’s good for you!
Visit our Arbor Day Project Page to learn how to care for your new tree.
Visit The Wildflower Foundation, to learn more about Parsley Haws.
Distribution date for the trees is Saturday January 16, 2016 – starting at 9:30 and while supplies last.
Available at TWO LOCATIONS:
Walgreens – Shoppes of Sugarmill Woods
9427 S. Suncoast Blvd. Homosassa, FL
at corner of US Hwy 19 & 98
Publix Super Market – Springs Plaza
3942 S. Suncoast Blvd. Homosassa, FL
at corner of US Hwy 19 & Halls River Rd.