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Tree Blackthorn

Blackthorn in Flower - Photo  Copyright 2002 Gary Bradley
Photo: G. Bradley

UK Safari Tip:
To help you identify different trees get the colourful fold out chart called "Tree Name Trail" from the Nature Shop - click here


Latin name: Prunus spinosa

Size: Can grow to 6 metres, but more usually grown as a shorter shrub.

Distribution: Found throughout the UK.

Flowering months: March to April

Special features: The name comes from its long dark coloured thorns which protect the blackthorn from grazing animals. It is frequently used in hedgerows because it makes a strong, dense prickly barrier.

The blackthorn has small tooth-edged leaves which appear after it has finished flowering. In late summer, the bitter tasting fruits, known as 'sloes', appear. They are round, about the size of a small marble and blue-black in colour. They can be added to gin to give it extra flavour.

Track Down More Info

UK Safari Trees Section
UK Safari Plants and Trees Section

Collins Field Guide to TreesCollins Field Guide to Trees
Available at

  2006 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved