Blackthorn trees in USA

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‘BLACKTHORN FRUIT’ is a 15 letter phrase starting with B and ending with T

Crossword clues for ‘BLACKTHORN FRUIT’

Synonyms, crossword answers and other related words for BLACKTHORN FRUIT

We hope that the following list of synonyms for the word sloe will help you to finish your crossword today. We’ve arranged the synonyms in length order so that they are easier to find.

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15 letter words


Definition of sloe

  • small sour dark purple fruit of especially the Allegheny plum bush

Anagrams of sloe


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Blackthorn, Sloe




Water Requirements:

Unknown – Tell us

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade





Foliage Color:

Unknown – Tell us


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown – Tell us


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown – Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown – Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From hardwood cuttings

From hardwood heel cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

By stooling or mound layering

Seed Collecting:

Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Browns Mills, New Jersey

If you thought sloe gin was the treacly red stuff that spawned a million beachfront bar shots with unprintable names, you may be as amazed as I was when you taste the genuine article. Real sloe gin, made with sloe berries and — shouldn’t this go without saying? — actual gin, is a homemade treat from rural England that has nothing to do with the cloying liqueur that’s usurped its name. Fortunately, some of that misinformation may soon be corrected. Early next year, Plymouth Gin in Devonshire, England, will export a limited release of its unsurpassable sloe gin, made in its Black Friars Distillery, and arguably the only commercial version that is all natural and traditionally produced.

Sloe berries are a type of wild plum, akin to damson plums or wild Atlantic beach plums. They are the brutally sour and astringent fruit of the blackthorn tree, a spiny shrub that grows untamed in the hedgerows that line the counties’ fields and roads. That they seem to have no known purpose is a tribute to the practical creativity of the farmer: if it grows, find a use for it.

Real sloe gin is nothing more than an infusion. The berries are gingerly gathered as they ripen in mid- to late autumn, when they are harvested by locals who guard their secret spots (since many hedgerows are on public land). Some say they should be picked after the first frost, but as with any regional treasure, that, as well as variations on the recipe, is punctiliously debated.

The basic formula is as simple as it is stunning. Once the berries show a chalky bloom and their dark fruit begins to soften, they are plucked, cleaned and pricked, or frozen, which allows maceration to extract their flavor. They are then added to the strongest available gin, along with a small wineglassful of sugar, and left to bathe, occasionally agitated, for anywhere from 2 to 12 months. What emerges is a ruby liqueur with the tart snap of sour cherries and a sly finish of bitter almond from the leaching of the pits: a clean, vibrant, adult libation a world away from an Alabama slammer.

Prunus Spinosa Care: Tips For Growing A Blackthorn Tree

Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) is a berry producing tree native to Great Britain and throughout most of Europe, from Scandinavia south and east to the Mediterranean, Siberia and Iran. With such an extensive habitat, there must be some innovative uses for blackthorn berries and other interesting tidbits of information about blackthorn plants. Let’s read on to find out.

Information about Blackthorn Plants

Blackthorns are small, deciduous trees also referred to as ‘sloe.’ They grow in scrubs, thickets and woodlands in the wild. In the landscape, hedges are the most common use for growing blackthorn trees.

A growing blackthorn tree is spiny and densely limbed. It has smooth, dark brown bark with straight side shoots that become thorned. The leaves are wrinkled, serrated ovals that are pointed at the tip and tapered at the base. They may live for up to 100 years.


trees are hermaphrodites, having both male and female reproductive parts. The flowers appear before the tree leafs out in March and April and are then pollinated by insects. The results are blue-black fruit. Birds enjoy eating the fruit, but the question is, are blackthorn berries edible for human consumption?

Uses for Blackthorn Berry Trees

Blackthorn trees are extremely wildlife friendly. They provide food and nesting space for a variety of birds with protection from prey due to the spiny branches. They are also a great source of nectar and pollen for bees in the spring and provide food for caterpillars on their journey to becoming butterflies and moths.

As mentioned, the trees make a terrific impenetrable hedge with an enclosure of painful spike laden interwoven branches. Blackthorn wood is also traditionally used for making the Irish shillelaghs or walking sticks.

As to the berries, the birds eat them, but are blackthorn berries edible for humans? I wouldn’t recommend it. While a small amount of raw berry will probably have little effect, the berries do contain hydrogen cyanide, which in larger doses may definitely have toxic effect. However, the berries are processed commercially into sloe gin as well as in wine making and preserves.

Prunus spinosa Care

Very little is needed in the way of care for Prunus spinosa. It grows well in a variety of soil types from sun to partial sun exposures. It is, however, susceptible to several fungal diseases which can cause blossom wilt and, therefore, affect fruit production.

Common name: Blackthorn, sloe

Botanical name: Prunus spinosa

Family: Rosaceae (Rose)

Worldwide distribution: Native to Europe, western Asia and northwest Africa, though naturalised in other parts of the world.

Local distribution: Very common all over Ireland and the UK, though increasingly scarce in the north of Scotland.

Habitat: Hedgerow, woodland edges and scrub.

Foraging season: Flowers early to late spring and fruit mid to late autumn.

Blackthorn is one of the most abundant shrubs in British hedgerows. Landowners and farmers traditionally planted them to keep land borders and make cattle-proof barriers, because the thorny nature of the shrub forms impenetrable thickets.

It bursts into life in early spring, when masses of densely clustered white flowers appear before the leaves are unfurled. The bloom is edible and taste a bit like almonds.

Having said that, we are most interested in the sloes, the deep purple berries that start to ripen in early autumn. They are technically fruits and are the smallest and tartest of all the plum family.

The fruit is too tart to eat raw, but is ideal to infuse alcoholic drinks; the flavoursome sloe gin is an old favourite but can be used to make pacharan or bargnolino. The fruit leftovers have been traditionally used to make sloe gin chocolates.

In This Issue


Sloe also known as Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) is a thorny hedgerow plant with dark purple berries often sought after in autumn to make warming country wine or gin. The small tree or shrub also has a firm place in folk history and medicine in the British Isles.

Common Name

Blackthorn / Sloe

Scientific Name

Prunus spinosa



Botanical Description

Small tree or shrub growing up to 4 m tall. The bark is blackish with spiny black stems, oval-like leaves, and snowy-white flowers. Dark purplish berries appear between August to November.


Deciduous. Native.


Deciduous woodland, hedgerows, river banks, scrub

Parts Used For Food

Fruits, flowers, and leaves.

Harvest Time

The tree blossoms March to April and yield fruit from August to November.
Sloe Notebook

Food Uses

Picking sloes, or blackthorn berries, in autumn, is a well-kept countryside tradition in Britain, Ireland and parts of Europe. The fruit is often made into sloe wine or gin. Sloes are also used to make jam and jelly.

The flowers can be sugared for edible cake decorations REF and a tea can be made from the leaves.REF

Nutritional Profile

Fresh sloes contain about 10 mg of vitamin C and 5 mg of vitamin E per 100g. They are rich in other nutrients: 453 mg potassium, 5 mg calcium and 22 mg magnesium per 100g.REF

The fruit are also very high in antioxidant compounds phenols and flavonoids, and in essential fatty acids, which are thought to bring many health benefits such as reducing the incidence of chronic disease.REF

Sloe Recipes

  • Traditional sloe gin
  • Sloe hedgerow jam

Traditional Medicine Uses

The astringent berries and bark have been used to treat diarrhoea, while the flowers have been used as a laxative.REF

Sloes were also used as remedies for coughs and colds because of their astringency. The peeled bark boiled in water was a gypsy remedy for bronchitis.

Other Uses

This prickly shrub has made an excellent hedgerow for centuries, providing a nearly impenetrable barrier for fields and coasts.


There is little conclusive data on the toxicity of blackthorn, although caution is always advised when using any medicinal herb during pregnancy or when breastfeeding, or when using alongside a prescribed medication for a specific condition. Consult your healthcare adviser first.

The most reported injury caused by the plant is due to its spiny thorns.

About The Author

Robin Harford is a plant-based forager, ethnobotanical researcher, and wild food educator. He is the author of Plantopedia: The Past and Present Uses of Wild Plants.

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