Biltmore Bot. Stud. 1: 28. 1901.
Shrubs or trees, 50 dm, branches ± weeping. Stems: ultimate twigs relatively stout; twigs: new growth densely appressed-canescent, 2–3-years old dark gray or gray-brown; thorns on twigs absent or numerous, straight, 2-years old purple-brown, slender, 3–4 cm. Leaves: petiole length 20–35% blade, densely appressed-hairy young, glandular; blade ± obovate-spatulate, 2.3–3.5 cm, thin, base gradually tapered, lobes 2 per side, subterminal, sinuses shallow (LII 15–20%), lobe apex acute, margins glandular-serrate, veins 2 or 3 per side, apex acuminate, abaxial surface ± persistently pubescent, adaxial densely tomentose, ± glabrate. Inflorescences 2–4-flowered; branches densely appressed-pubescent; bracteoles deciduous, linear, margins glandular, adaxially short-pubescent. Flowers 13–16 mm diam.; hypanthium densely pubescent; sepals narrow, 3 mm, margins glandular-serrate, abaxially pubescent; anthers ivory; styles 4 or 5. Pomes bright orange-red or reddish, orbicular, 8–12 mm diam., glabrate to slightly pubescent; sepals reflexed; pyrenes 4 or 5.
Phenology: Flowering Mar–Apr; fruiting Jul–Aug.
Habitat: Brush, sandy soil
Elevation: 30–100 m
Ala., Fla., Ga., S.C.
Crataegus dispar is a somewhat scarce species, concentrated in South Carolina and with scattered records from Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. The author notes the species in South Carolina grows in extremely dry conditions.
Crataegus dispar is one of the most easily recognized members of ser. Lacrimatae, even identifiable in specimens lacking reproductive parts and sometimes from extension shoots alone. Of note are the wide extension-shoot leaves, often deeply incised into wide-spreading, sharp segments lobed nearly to the sinuses, rather as in C. marshallii.