Shrub or small tree to 7-8 m tall. Branches with many thorns 2-2.5 cm long. Leaves broadly ovate, with 3-7 deeply-cut, rounded or pointed lobes to about threequarters of the way towards the midrib, mostly pale and soft-hairy below; stipules without teeth. Flowers white, fragrant, in flat clusters of mostly 12-15, each about 1-1.5 cm wide (styles 1), Oct-Nov. Sepals oblong. Fruit in clusters of mostly 4-8, orange-red, each 6-8 mm wide, 1 seed; Apr-June.
Often planted as a hedgerow in the past and now naturalised in SA, NSW,Vic and Tas. Declared a noxious weed for the state of Vic in 1965 and thus not to be planted. Naturalised plants, which have leaves hairless below, sepals broadly triangular and reddish fruits with 2 styles and pips, have been identified as C. ×sinaica Boiss., Azzarola, a hybrid, C. azarolus × C. monogyna.This hybrid has been found in SA on Mt Lofty and also in Vic. [var. sinaica (Boiss.) Lange]
The features given here are sufficient to distinguish C. monogyna and C. laevigata. However, these two species intergrade and identification may be extremely difficult, although the fruits of C. laevigata are generally considerably larger than those of C. monogyna and have at least 2 seeds. Leaves of C. monogyna are extremely variable and may be deeply cut, with the lobes wide-spreading rather than directed upwards. Further revision is needed to elucidate possible hybrids and variants. It is the view of some botanists that the 2 entities are variants of a single species.
VIC: Kyneton (Bot. Gds).
Source: (2002). Rosaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 3. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 2. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.
, Glastonbury Apple (Glastonbury Thorn). Flowers and produces young foliage in winter. ['Praecox'] Specimens vic: Colac (Christian Bros School, Colac Rd); Geelong (Bot. Gds).