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botanical name:
Prunus spinosa
Prunus spinosa © Deeproot Plant Base
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common name:  Blackthorn, Sloe, Draenen ddu
family:  Rosaceae
characteristics: tree
height: 6.00m
width: 4.00m
growth rate: medium
growth habit: bushy
leaf colour: green
flower colour: white
fruit colour: black
stem/bark: grey-brown
main season: Spring
edible symbol edible
aspect: full sun, part shade
conditions: moist soil, clay soil, sandy soil, coastal
preferred soil pH: any
minimum temp: -23°C
USDA zone: 5 to 9
description:
Large densely branched shrub or a small bushy tree. The spiny branches are covered in numerous small white flowers in March or early April, before the leaves appear. Produces edible but tart, blue-black fruits in autumn. Dark grey-brown bark.

cultivation:
Likes a moist soil and sun or part shade. Not fussy.

propagation:
From seed or by cuttings. Also by separation of rooted suckers where available.

usage:
A traditional country hedgerow plant. The fruits are used in making preserves and for flavourings.

Wood is used for walking sticks and the Irish shillelagh. In folklore blackthorn is favoured by witches for making staffs or wands. Also makes good firewood, burns slowly and with little smoke.

other notes:
A British native tree and widely distributed throught Europe to Russia.

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