PRUNUS spinosa

Commonly known as Blackthorn, Sloe

  • Deciduous
    mid- to deep-green leaves to 5cm (2in) long.
  • White
  • Height
    5m (16ft)
  • Spread
    4m (13ft)
  • Hedge
    Ideal for hedging
  • Tree
    Dense, bushy, spiny shrub or small tree. Produces solitary, rarely paired, flowers to 1.5cm (½in) across before the leaves. Glaucous black fruit to fruit to 1.5cm (½in) across.
  • Hardy - very cold winter
    Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe. Plant can possibly withstand temperatures down to -20°C (-4°F)
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade

PRUNUS spinosa

Gift Wrapping available on this plant - UK Delivery Only
Minimum order of 10
open ground available NOV-FEB £1.50 each 
plant size comparison icon Bare Rooted available NOV-FEB only
  • Additional Features
    Good to know
    UK native. Wildlife plant - nectar for insects, nesting site for birds. Suckers freely. Traditional wood for the Irish shillelagh. The fruit for sloe gin.
    Pests & Diseases
    Honey fungus
    Place of origin
    Europe to Russia (western Siberia), Mediterranean
  • Flower Shape
  • Garden Location/Conditions
    Coastal / windswept
  • Hardiness
    Fully hardy
  • Leaf margin
    (see photos above)
  • Leaf shape
    (see photos above)
    (see photos above)
  • Pruning group
    Pruning group 1
    Suitable for: Deciduous and evergreen trees, and some deciduous shrubs.
    Pruning: Minimal pruning required. Prune wayward or crossing branches to maintain a healthy framework.
    When: When dormant in the late winter/early spring. Some in the summer/autumn to prevent bleeding of sap.

    RHS group 1
  • Seasonal Interest
  • Soil Conditions
    Fertile moist well-drained soil
    Moderately fertile
  • Tree Shape
    Rounded to broadly spreading
  • Wildlife
    Bee friendly
    Bird friendly
    Rabbit Resistant
5m (16ft)
tree - guide for size not form Average Person
  4m (13ft)

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