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Prunus spinosa (Blackthorn)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
4m
Max height
4m
Max spread
20-50 years
To maturity

Plant details

Botanical name

Prunus spinosa

Other names

Blackthorn, Bullace, Skeg , Snag, Sloe plum, Buckthorn, Sloe

Genus

Prunus Prunus

Species

P. spinosa - P. spinosa is a deciduous tree or shrub with thorns. It has dark-green, ovate leaves and in early spring, bears small clusters of white, salver-shaped flowers on bare branches. In autumn, it produces small, black fruits that are like miniature plums in structure (these are used to make sloe gin). A good addition to a mixed wildlife hedge.


Prunus spinosa is: Deciduous

Habit

Irregular

Flower

White in Spring

Foliage

Dark-green in Summer

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Aphids , Bullfinches , Caterpillars Aphids , Bullfinches , Caterpillars

Blossom wilt , Leaf spot Blossom wilt , Leaf spot

General care

Propagation methods

Seed, Softwood cuttings


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Where to grow

Prunus spinosa (Blackthorn) will reach a height of 4m and a spread of 4m after 20-50 years.

Suggested uses

Bees (attract & feed bees), Cottage/Informal, Hedging/Screens, Wildlife

Cultivation

Plant in any moist, free-draining soil in a sunny position.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

Companion plants

We do not currently have companion plants added for this plant.

Botanical name

Prunus spinosa

Other names

Blackthorn, Bullace, Skeg , Snag, Sloe plum, Buckthorn, Sloe

Genus

Prunus Prunus

Species

P. spinosa - P. spinosa is a deciduous tree or shrub with thorns. It has dark-green, ovate leaves and in early spring, bears small clusters of white, salver-shaped flowers on bare branches. In autumn, it produces small, black fruits that are like miniature plums in structure (these are used to make sloe gin). A good addition to a mixed wildlife hedge.

Foliage

Deciduous

Habit

Irregular


Colour

Flower

White in Spring

Foliage

Dark-green in Summer


How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Aphids , Bullfinches , Caterpillars

Specific diseases

Blossom wilt , Leaf spot

General care

Propagation methods

Seed, Softwood cuttings


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Prunus spinosa (Blackthorn) will reach a height of 4m and a spread of 4m after 20-50 years.

Suggested uses

Bees (attract & feed bees), Cottage/Informal, Hedging/Screens, Wildlife

Cultivation

Plant in any moist, free-draining soil in a sunny position.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

Defra's Risk register #1

Plant name

Prunus spinosa (Blackthorn)

Common pest name

Chlorotic leafroll of apricot; Chlorotic leafroll of nectarine; Chlorotic leafroll of peach; Decline of Japanese plum; Decline of peach; Dieback of apricot; European stone fruit yellows; European yellows of peach; Italian rosette of peach; Leptonecrosis of plum; MoliĀŠres disease of cherry; Vein clearing of peach; Vein enlargement of peach

Scientific pest name

Candidatus Phytoplasma prunorum

Type

Phytoplasma

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

5

General biosecurity comments

EU regulation appears satisfactory for UK; willing to participate in future review of EU listing.

Defra's Risk register #2

Plant name

Prunus spinosa (Blackthorn)

Common pest name

grape ground pearl

Scientific pest name

Margarodes vitis

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

5

General biosecurity comments

Main pathway; Vitis spp. plants for planting; already prohibited. However; further consideration of other pathways is required.

Defra's Risk register #3

Plant name

Prunus spinosa (Blackthorn)

Common pest name

Peach red-necked longhorn; Plum and peach longhorn; red-necked longhorn

Scientific pest name

Aromia bungii

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

General biosecurity comments

A pest mainly of Prunus previously intercepted in the UK on wooden packaging imported from China. There have been longstanding outbreaks of the pest in Italy; a source of significant trade in plants for instant landscapes; and also findings in Germany. The UK will press for early EU regulation and consider UK national measures if risk increases.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read "Don't risk it" advice here

Suspected outbreak? Click here for contact details to report to the relevant authority.

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/

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March 2011 (28/03/2011)

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types) Tell us...
Soil drainage: Moist but well-drained, Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: North, South, East, West Tell us...
Exposure: Exposed, Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Hardy (H4) Tell us...

DISCUSS THIS PLANT

Prunus spinosa

This is a very adaptable plant which will grow almost anywhere. It has traditionally been used with hawthorn as the main components of a mixed hedgerow.Blackthorn is very valuable to birds as a… read more

There are 5 active discussions about Prunus spinosa (Blackthorn)

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