Always good to see the spring trees coming into 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.
I always enjoy seeing the blackthorn and the hawthorn coming in flower. Blackthorn flowers first in March and April signalling what is to come whereas hawthorn is in full flower in May telling us spring is well and truly here.
Those of us who have managed woodlands however tend to dislike both species as their spiny branches puncture our skins when we are trying to coppice them.
The folklore of both species is also very interesting – blackthorn being seen as a plant of evil and bad luck – see here. Hawthorn has a more positive press and was originally used to make Maypoles but also has a darker side as it was apparently the species used by witches to make broomsticks! – see here.
To be honest I just like the look of them!
With spring comes all the blossom – it is interesting to think why blossom is almost universally white or at least a pinky white when so many of the non tree flowers are yellow. The reason must be that both colours are attractive to pollinating insects.