The blackthorn is in flower

Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) is now in flower in my garden. Its name derives from the fact that it has a very dark bark and serious spiny thorns on its branches.

Blackthorn 2
Its leaves are eaten by a number of moth and butterfly caterpillars including the brown hairstreak and the emperor moth

Blackthorn 1On account of its spiny stems blackthorn is often used as a hedging shrub to keep cattle in a field.

Blackthorn 3In the autumn the fruit of the blackthorn will appear – the sloe – which is rather bitter to eat on its own but does combine very well with gin!

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