In North America, cultivation of Mayhaws (Crataegus opaca L.) is rare; most commercial harvest is taken from the wild. Crataegus opaca is distributed in northeast Texas, east Texas and southeast Texas along the flood plains of the Angelina and Neuches rivers and their watersheds. Mayhaws are difficult to define due to unusual factors relating to reproduction, including apomixis, or the development of an embryo from cells other than sex cells. Mayhaws are valued for economic use as food, medicine and ornamentals. Since the hawthorn has shown extremely low toxicity in every animal tested, the discovery of isolated constituents thru research has caused pharmacological interest. A small orchard plot of selections with ripened fruit measuring larger than 2.5 cm up to 3.1 cm with bright red or pink color is being established for selecting possible cultivars for medicinal or food uses.
Five Crataegus opaca selections were collected due to showing spurtype, large fruits and thornlessness. Yearly production of fruit was noted for five years (even after late freezes) while selections grew in Taggert's Flat, Neuches river bottom, Angelina County. Seedlings are being grafted for further evaluations and uses in sustainable agricultural ecosystems.