Prunus spinosa L.


» blackthorn, sloe

Morphology / Appearance

Prunus spinosa L.

Character recognition:

Plant: is a deciduous large shrub or a small tree, growing to 5 - 7 m in height;
Root: rhizomatous;
Stem: with blackish bark and dense, stiff, spiny branches;
Leaves: are oval, 2–4.5 cm long and 1.2–2 cm broad, with a serrated margin;
Flowers: hermaphrodite; 1.5 cm in diameter with 5 petals and 5 sepals;
Fruits: called a "sloe", is a drupe 10–12 mm in diameter, black with a purple-blue waxy bloom, ripening in autumn.

Confusion: [...]

Prunus spinosa
© 2012. Prunus spinosa L.

Copyright photo © C. Simion ::: 2012 - IASI ::: Prunus spinosa L.

Ecology / Plant spreading

Prunus spinosa L.

Bloom time: Mar , Apr
Flower color: white
Plant type: perennial
Light: Sun, Part Shade
Propagation Material: Seeds

It is native to Europe, western Asia and northwest Africa. It is also locally naturalised in New Zealand and eastern North America.

It often grows in hedgerows or thickets, where it can form dense stands.


Prunus spinosa L.

Cultivation / Plant breeding

Prunus spinosa L.

Requires a well-drained moisture retentive soil.

Blackthorn can be propagated by sowing the stones shallowly. In order to germinate, the stones must be exposed to a period of cold for approximately two months. This can be achieved by placing them in a bag of moist sand in a fridge. Semi-ripe cuttings can be taken in late summer.


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Articles about Prunus spinosa L.
Culinary / Use food. Use Medicinal / Herbal medicine / Use Ornamental