Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa)

Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) is a deciduous shrub that is part of the same genus as cherry and plum. It is also known as Sloe and it's berries can be used to make Sloe Gin.

  • Blackthorn Tree  -  Prunus Spinosa  -  Mature Tree In Blossom
  • Blackthorn Tree  -  Prunus Spinosa  -  Leaves And Young Berries
  • Blackthorn Tree  -  Prunus Spinosa  -  Fruit
  • Blackthorn Tree  -  Prunus Spinosa  -  Blossom

Useful info about Blackthorn trees

Latin NamePrunus spinosa
TypeDeciduous (loses its leaves in winter)
HeightCan grow up to 4 metres (12 feet)
SpreadThe branches can spread out to 1 - 4 metres (3 - 12 feet)
Soil Types PreferredChalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Locations SuitableGardens, Hedgerows
FlowersWhite flowers in Spring
FruitBlue / purple fruit in summer


It is widespread across Europe and North Africa.

It is an important plant for wildlife, with its spring flowers providing nectar for insects, and its branches create a spiny thicket offering a secure nesting site for birds.

Blackthorn is the food plant of many moths including the "clouded silver" and "lunar-spotted pinion". It is the only food plant of the "sloe carpet" - a moth that occurs in southeastern England.


The fruit is used in jellies, syrups, etc and as a flavouring for sloe gin.


Any uses for trees or tree extracts, whether edible or medicinal, have not been tried or tested by EFORESTS.

Please take caution and seek proper advice before attempting any recipes or medicinal extracts from any of the trees listed on our site.

Culture and Symbolism

It is associated with overcoming obstacles for a better future.

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