Flowers: March – May; white flowers single or in twos
Fruits: Sloes resembling miniature black plumsTwigs & bark: Twigs dark brown/black and spiny; bark dark brown/black
Open woodland, hedgerows, rocky slopes and scrub
Widespread and common
Records submitted to Data Centre in 2020
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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)