Taxonomy

Prunus spinosa | Blackthorn | Draighean

Distribution

Status

Conservation status

Not protected

Native status

Native

Species Biology

Identification

Flowers: March – May; white flowers single or in twos

Fruits: Sloes resembling miniature black plums  

Twigs & bark: Twigs dark brown/black and spiny; bark dark brown/black 

Habitat

Open woodland, hedgerows, rocky slopes and scrub 

Life cycle

Perennial

Ex-situ conservation

Not known

Use

Food crop

Vegetative nature

Woody

Distribution

World distribution(GBIF)

Irish distribution

Widespread and common

Temporal change

Records submitted to Data Centre in 2020

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Further information

The shrub has been traditionally used in Northern Europe and Ireland for stock-proof hedging due to its thorns. The fruits are used in the making of sloe wine and gin. Stewed leaves were an old Irish remedy for fevers and indigestion in children. Wood is used for traditional walking sticks (shillelagh)