Prunus spinosa

Prunus spinosa

Blackthorn

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Flowers
Flowers
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Yes
Fruits
Fruits
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Yes

Key Information

  • Botanical name: Prunus spinosa
  • Common name: Blackthorn
  • Plant type: Shrub
  • Evergreen/Deciduous: Deciduous

Height: 5m

Spread: 4m

Flower colour:
  • White
Foliage colour:
  • Green
  • Features: Flowers, Fruit, Thorns

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Blackthorn, Prunus spinosa, is a native deciduous, spiny shrub used traditionally to make a natural, informal hedge. It provides interest throughout the year, bearing flowers in spring and spherical, purple berries (sloes) in autumn.

If left unclipped, Prunus spinosa eventually develops into a small freestanding tree. It's extremely valuable to wildlife: its leaves are used as a caterpillar foodplant for many species of moth, its spring flowers provide nectar and pollen for pollinators and its autumn berries feed birds and small mammals. What's more, when clipped as a hedge, the dense mass of thorny stems makes the perfect nesting habitat for birds.

Position

  • Sun exposure: Full sun, Dappled shade
  • Aspect: South facing, West facing
  • Hardiness: Hardy
  • Soil type: Well drained/light/sandy, Clay/heavy/moist

Wildlife

Attracts:
  • Bees

  • Beneficial insects

  • Birds

  • Butterflies / Moths

  • Other pollinators

  • Wildlife features: Nectar/pollen rich flowers, Provides shelter/habitat, Makes a good wildlife hedge, Seeds for birds, Caterpillar food plant

Care routine

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Plant
Plant
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Yes
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Yes
Harvest
Harvest
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Yes
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Prune
Prune
Yes
Yes

Toxicity

Toxic to:
  • People

  • Cats

  • Dogs

  • Birds

  • Horses

  • Livestock

  • Effects: Harmful if ingested, Purgative if ingested

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