A tree 20 to 35 ft high, with a rounded head of often horizontal branches, more in diameter; trunk 10 to 20 in. through; branches more or less armed with spines 2 to 3 in. long; young shoots grey, hairy at first, then glabrous. Leaves broadly ovate, rounded or rather abruptly pointed at the apex, always tapered at the base; 2 to 4 in. long, 11⁄4 to 23⁄4 in. wide; toothed, the larger leaves of the barren shoots more or less lobed above the middle; veins parallel in five to ten pairs, deeply sunk above; upper surface dark green, both surfaces at first downy, afterwards almost or quite glabrous above, more persistently downy beneath; stalk 3⁄4 in. or less long. Flowers white, 3⁄4 in. diameter, opening early in June on corymbs up to 4 in. across; the calyx-tube, the inner surface of the narrow, almost entire lobes, and the flower-stalk hairy; stamens twenty; styles five. Fruit deep red, specked with pale dots; 3⁄4 to 1 in. diameter, slightly pear-shaped or almost globose.
Native of eastern N. America; introduced in 1746. It is certainly one of the most attractive and well-doing of American thorns, giving great crops of its white blossom and crimson fruits. A tree at Aldenham, Herts., planted in 1845, attained a height of 33 ft, with a head of branches 40 ft across.
f. aurea (Ait.) Rehd. – Fruits yellow. According to E. J. Palmer, yellow fruited trees occur wild with the type, becoming commoner northwards.
Forms have also been described in which the fruit is deep cherry-red and another in which it is red streaked with yellow near the base. In all forms of C. punctata the leaves are conspicuously parallel-veined and the fruits are marked by small pale dots. Leaves and fruits fall in October.