The Glastonbury Thorn – Crataegus monogyna (Hawthorn)

The Glastonbury Thorn (from Wikpedia)
The Glastonbury Thorn (from Wikpedia)

 Glastonbury thorn (Crataegus monogyna ‘Biflora’) The Glastonbury thorn is connected with Christ’s death as well as his birth. Legend has it that Joseph of Arimathea came to Britain to spread the message of Christianity. As he lay down to rest from his weary journey, he pushed his staff into the ground beside him. When he awoke, he found that the staff had taken root and begun to grow and blossom. From that day onwards – every Christmas Eve the white thorn buds and blooms.

There is a tradition in England that a branch of the Glastonbury Thorn is taken and displayed each year in Buckingham Palace. The Glastonbury Thorn is a Hawthorn and they normally bloom only in the spring. But the one at the Abbey blooms on old wood in the spring and new mature wood during a warm spell in the winter. It is considered a miracle. Trees grown from the seeds do not replicate this phenomenon; but those grown from cuttings do.

This past December 9th, 2010 someone vandalized the Glastonbury Thorn. All the branches were hacked off with a saw. If the tree does not rejuvenate itself, they will be replanting it from cuttings started in the past!

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