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Prunus spinosa


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Key information

Plant type

Native shrub

Flower colour



Flowers, Fruit, Thorns



Skill level


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Plant details

This deciduous, spiny shrub is an excellent choice for a natural, informal hedge. It provides interest throughout the year and makes a good barrier against livestock. If left unclipped, plants eventually form a small freestanding tree, suitable for a large informal garden. It produces a mass of white flowers during early spring, followed by mid-green, oval leaves. In autumn, spherical, black fruits are produced called sloes, which are particularly attractive to birds and often used to flavour gin.

Family: Roseaceae

Genus: Prunus

Species: spinosa

Plant type: Native shrub

Flower colour: White

Foliage colour: Mid-green

Feature: Flowers, Fruit, Thorns

Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade

Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Moist

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 500cm

Spread: 400cm

Time to plant seeds: November to February

Reader reviews


I have a problem with my mixed natural hedge - 4th season. I am having problems with my blackthorns - not getting it with my hawthorns and other hedge. On the blackthorns on new growth the leaves are curling I have uncurled them and do not see signs of aphids. Last year didn't get many sloes but plenty on this years. Any idea what the problem is and how I can cure it. I sprayed last week with bug clear - Regards Ray


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