Blackthorn (Sloe) – Prunus spinosa – early to blossom, blackthorn trees have clouds of snow-white flowers in early Spring.  They’re best known for their rich, inky, dark fruits.



Spiny and densely branched, mature trees can grow to a height of around 6-7m and live for up to 100 years.  The dark brown bark is smooth.

The leaves are slightly wrinkled, oval, toothed, pointed at the tip and tapered at the base.

Blackthorn is a hermaphrodite, meaning both male and female reproductive parts are found in one flower.  White flowers appear on short stalks before the leaves in March and April, either singularly or in pairs.

After pollination by insects, the flowers develop into blue black fruits, that we know as sloes.

At Lindengate, find it in our hedgerows and as backdrop to our new Labyrinth garden.