The many Hawthorn species are members of the Rose family.

They are symbols of Christ's Passion, or, more deeply, flower, thorn, and fruit comprise an initiation triad.

The flower symbolizes the promise of attainment; the thorn, the pain of the actual achieving; and the fruit, the harvest of success.

Which is a lot to put on a plant, especially when many ornamental varieties have had their thorns bred out of them.

These Viburnums are less freighted.