Plantae > Tracheophyta > Magnoliopsida > Rosales > Rosaceae > Prunus > Prunus spinosa

Prunus spinosa (Blackthorn)

Wikipedia Abstract

Prunus spinosa (blackthorn, or sloe) is a species of Prunus native to Europe, western Asia, and locally in northwest Africa. It is also locally naturalised in New Zealand and eastern North America.
View Wikipedia Record: Prunus spinosa



Height [2]  9.8 feet (3 m)
Light Preference [4]  Mixed Sun/Shade
Soil Acidity [4]  Neutral
Soil Fertility [4]  Intermediate
Soil Moisture [4]  Moist
Bee Flower Color [1]  Blue-Green
Flower Color [1]  White
Dispersal Mode [5]  Endozoochory
Edible [2]  May be edible. See the Plants For A Future link below for details.
Flower Type [2]  Hermaphrodite
Hazards [2]  Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where most, if not all members of the genus produce hydrogen cyanide, a poison that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. This toxin is found mainly in the leaves and seed and is readily detected by its bitter taste. It is usually present in too small a quantity to do any harm but any very bitter seed or fruit should not be eaten. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.
Leaf Type [2]  Deciduous
Lifespan [3]  Perennial
Pollinators [2]  Insects, Lepidoptera
Structure [2]  Shrub
Usage [2]  The bark is a good source of tannin; It is used to make an ink; The juice of unripe fruits is used as a laundry mark; The pulped ripe fruit is used cosmetically in making astringent face-masks; A green dye can be obtained from the leaves; A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit; The bark, boiled in an alkali, produces a yellow dye; The sloe is very resistant to maritime exposure and also suckers freely. It can be used as a hedge in exposed maritime positions. The hedge is stock-proof if it is well maintained; Because of its suckering habit, the plant is a natural pioneer species, invading cultivated fields and creating conditions conducive to the regeneration of woodland. Wood - very hard. Used for turnery, the teeth of rakes etc; Suitable branches are used for making walking sticks and are highly valued for this purpose because of their twisted and interesting shapes;
View Plants For A Future Record : Prunus spinosa

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Berchtesgaden Alps National Park II 51433 Germany
Berwickshire and North Northumberland Coast 160731 England/Scotland, United Kingdom  
Berwyn a Mynyddoedd de Clwyd/ Berwyn and South Clwyd Mountains 67265 Wales, United Kingdom
Cairnsmore of Fleet, Silver Flowe, and Merrick Kells Biosphere Reserve 8794 Scotland, United Kingdom
Carmarthen Bay and Estuaries/ Bae Caerfyrddin ac Aberoedd 163340 Wales, United Kingdom
Carpathian Biosphere Reserve 144772 Ukraine  
Craven Limestone Complex 13166 England, United Kingdom
Cwm Doethie – Mynydd Mallaen 10186 Wales, United Kingdom
Dahlberg 22 Germany  
Dorset Heaths (Purbeck and Wareham) and Studland Dunes 5491 England, United Kingdom
Ebernoe Common 581 England, United Kingdom
Essex Estuaries 114016 England, United Kingdom
Flusslandschaft Elbe Biosphere Reserve 925242 Germany  
Foresta Gallipoli - Cognato 10500 Italy  
Galichia Gora Zapovednik Ia 568 Lipetsk, Russia
Ghajn Barrani Area 135 Malta  
Ingleborough Complex 14256 England, United Kingdom
Isle of Rum National Nature Reserve   Scotland, United Kingdom
Kavkazskiy Biosphere Reserve Ia 692723 Krasnodar, Karachay-Cherkessia, Adygea, Russia
Killarney National Park II 25482 Ireland
Lands End and Cape Bank 74557 England, United Kingdom  
Lizard Point 34565 England, United Kingdom    
Luberon Regional Nature Park V 406572 France  
Morecambe Bay 151985 England, United Kingdom
North Norfolk Coast 7926 England, United Kingdom  
North Pennine Moors 254789 England, United Kingdom
North York Moors 108930 England, United Kingdom
Okskiy Biosphere Reserve 190748 Russia  
Palava Protected Landscape Area V   Czech Republic  
Pen Llyn a`r Sarnau/ Lleyn Peninsula and the Sarnau 360832 Wales, United Kingdom
Reserva de la Biosfera de Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve V 1777 Spain  
Salisbury Plain 52975 England, United Kingdom
Severn Estuary/ Môr Hafren 182155 England/Wales, United Kingdom
Sidmouth to West Bay 2217 England, United Kingdom
South Pennine Moors 160577 England, United Kingdom  
South Wight Maritime 49082 England, United Kingdom
Spreewald Biosphere Reserve 117355 Germany  
Taynish National Nature Reserve   Scotland, United Kingdom
The New Forest 72309 England, United Kingdom
Tsentral'no-Chernozemny Biosphere Reserve Ia 13064 Kursk, Russia
Ukrainskii Stepnoi Zapovednik Nature Zapovednik Ia 2920 Ukraine  
Väinamere 670389 Estonia  
Voronezhskiy Biosphere Reserve 95835 Russia  


Abraxas grossulariata (Magpie Moth)[6]
Abroma temperata[6]
Acalitus phloeocoptes <Unverified Name>[6]
Acleris cristana (Rufous-margined Button Moth)[7]
Acleris fimbriana[7]
Acleris hastiana[6]
Acleris permutana[7]
Acleris variegana (Garden rose tortricid moth)[7]
Acrogenospora sphaerocephala[8]
Acronicta alni (Alder Moth)[6]
Acronicta psi (Grey Dagger Moth)[6]
Acronicta strigosa (Marsh Dagger)[6]
Acronicta tridens (Dark Dagger)[6]
Aculus fockeui[6]
Agriopis aurantiaria <Unverified Name>[6]
Agriopis marginaria <Unverified Name>[6]
Agrochola lota (red-lined quaker)[8]
Alcis repandata (Mottled Beauty)[6]
Aleucis distinctata <Unverified Name>[6]
Allophyes oxyacanthae <Unverified Name>[6]
Allophyes oxycanthae[8]
Alnetoidia alneti[6]
Alsophila aescularia (March Moth)[6]
Amphipyra pyramidea[6]
Amphitetranychus viennensis[6]
Anarsia lineatella (Peach twig borer)[7]
Ancylis achatana[7]
Ancylis tineana[7]
Angerona prunaria[6]
Anthaxia bicolor[6]
Anthonomus bituberculatus[6]
Anthonomus pedicularius[6]
Anthonomus rubi (Strawberry Blossom Weevil)[6]
Anthonomus rufus[6]
Anthonomus ulmi[6]
Anticlea derivata (Streamer)[6]
Apocheima pilosaria <Unverified Name>[6]
Apoda avellana[7]
Aporia crataegi (Black-veined White Butterfly)[7]
Aporophyla lutulenta (Deep Brown Dart)[7]
Argynnis paphia (Silver-washed Fritillary)[7]
Argyresthia albistria[7]
Argyresthia bonnetella <Unverified Name>[6]
Argyresthia mendica[7]
Argyresthia semifusca[6]
Argyresthia spinosella <Unverified Name>[6]
Aroga flavicomella[7]
Asphondylia pruniperda[6]
Asteroscopus sphinx (Sprawler)[6]
Athrips mouffetella[6]
Athrips rancidella[6]
Auricularia auricula-judae (Jelly Ear)[8]
Autographa jota (Plain Golden Y)[6]
Biston betularia (peppered moth)[6]
Biston strataria (Oak Beauty)[6]
Blastodacna hellerella[6]
Blepharita satura (Beautiful Arches)[6]
Brachycaudus cardui (thistle aphid)[6]
Brachycaudus helichrysi (Leafcurl plum aphid)[6]
Brachycaudus persicae (Black peach aphid)[6]
Brachycaudus prunicola[6]
Brachycaudus prunicola schwartzi[6]
Byctiscus betulae (Hazel Leaf Roller)[6]
Cacopsylla pruni[6]
Callimorpha dominula <Unverified Name>[6]
Calliteara pudibunda (Pale Tussock)[6]
Campaea margaritata (Light Emerald Moth)[6]
Carcina quercana[6]
Catocala hymenaea[7]
Chaetosphaeria myriocarpa[8]
Chloroclysta siterata (Red-green Carpet)[6]
Chloroclystis chloerata[7]
Chloroclystis rectangulata (Green Pug)[6]
Cilix glaucata[7]
Coccothraustes coccothraustes (Hawfinch)[8]
Coleophora adjectella[7]
Coleophora anatipennella[7]
Coleophora cerasivorella[7]
Coleophora coracipennella[7]
Coleophora potentillae[6]
Coleophora prunifoliae[7]
Coleophora spinella <Unverified Name>[6]
Coleophora trigeminella[6]
Coleophora violacea <Unverified Name>[6]
Colocasia coryli (Nut-tree Tussock)[6]
Colotois pennaria (Feathered Thorn)[6]
Conistra ligula (Dark Chestnut)[6]
Conistra rubiginea (Dotted Chestnut)[6]
Conistra vaccinii (Chestnut)[6]
Corvus corone (Carrion Crow)[9]
Cosmia pyralina (Lunar-spotted Pinion)[6]
Cosmia trapezina (Dun-bar)[7]
Crepidodera aurata <Unverified Name>[6]
Crepidodera aurea <Unverified Name>[6]
Crocallis elinguaria (Scalloped Oak Moth)[6]
Cryptocephalus bipunctatus <Unverified Name>[6]
Cydia funebrana <Unverified Name>[6]
Cydia janthinana <Unverified Name>[6]
Dasineura sodalis[6]
Dasineura tortrix[6]
Dasystoma salicella <Unverified Name>[6]
Diarsia mendica (Ingrailed Clay)[6]
Diaspidiotus ostreaeformis (European fruit scale)[10]
Diaspidiotus perniciosus (California scale)[10]
Dichomeris barbella[7]
Dichomeris derasella <Unverified Name>[6]
Dichomeris fasciella[7]
Dichomitus efibulatus[8]
Diloba caeruleocephala[7]
Diptacus gigantorhynchus[6]
Diurnea fagella[6]
Dysgonia algira (Passenger)[6]
Ectoedemia spinosella[6]
Edwardsiana prunicola (Prune leafhopper)[6]
Egira conspicillaris[6]
Eilema complana (Scarce Footman)[6]
Eilema lurideola (Common Footman Moth)[6]
Eilema sororcula (Orange Footman)[6]
Electrophaes corylata (Broken-barred Carpet Moth)[6]
Encoelia fimbriata[8]
Encoelia fuckelii[8]
Endophragmiella boothii[8]
Enicostoma lobella <Unverified Name>[6]
Ennomos autumnaria (Large Thorn)[6]
Ennomos quercinaria (August Thorn)[6]
Epidiaspis leperii (European pear scale)[10]
Epirrita christyi <Unverified Name>[6]
Epirrita dilutata <Unverified Name>[6]
Erannis defoliaria (Mottled Umber Moth)[7]
Eriogaster lanestris (Small Eggar)[6]
Erithacus rubecula (European Robin)[9]
Esperia oliviella <Unverified Name>[6]
Eupithecia exiguata (Mottled Pug)[7]
Eupithecia innotata (Angle-barred Pug)[6]
Eupithecia insigniata (Pinion-spotted Pug)[6]
Eupithecia irriguata (Marbled Pug)[6]
Eupithecia subfuscata (gray pug)[6]
Eupithecia virgaureata (Golden-rod Pug)[6]
Eupoecilia ambiguella (Vine Moth)[8]
Euproctis chrysorrhoea (Brown-tail)[6]
Euproctis similis[6]
Eupsilia transversa (Satellite)[6]
Eurois occulta (great gray dart)[6]
Eutypa flavovirens[8]
Eutypella prunastri[8]
Exapate congelatella[7]
Exidiopsis calcea[8]
Furcipus rectirostris[6]
Ganoderma australe (Southern Bracket)[8]
Gastropacha quercifolia (Lappet)[7]
Gelechia scotinella[7]
Gonioctena viminalis <Unverified Name>[6]
Graphiphora augur (Double Dart)[6]
Grapholita funebrana (Plum Fruit Moth)[7]
Hedya dimidioalba[6]
Hedya pruniana[7]
Hemiberlesia lataniae (latania scale)[10]
Hemithea aestivaria (Common Emerald)[6]
Heteroradulum kmetii[8]
Hoplocampa chrysorrhoea <Unverified Name>[6]
Hoplocampa flava <Unverified Name>[6]
Hoplocampa rutilicornis <Unverified Name>[6]
Hyalopterus pruni (Mealy plum aphid)[6]
Hydrelia sylvata (Waved Carpet)[6]
Hypoxylon howeanum[8]
Hysterium angustatum[8]
Idaea aversata (Riband Wave Moth)[6]
Iphiclides podalirius (Scarce Swallowtail)[7]
Jodis lactearia (Little Emerald)[6]
Lasiocampa quercus (Oak Eggar)[6]
Lasiocampa trifolii (Grass Eggar)[6]
Laspeyria flexula (Beautiful Hook-tip)[6]
Lentomitella cirrhosa[8]
Lepidosaphes ulmi (apple oystershell scale)[10]
Leucoptera scitella[7]
Lobesia reliquana[7]
Lochmaea caprea <Unverified Name>[6]
Lochmaea crataegi <Unverified Name>[6]
Lomographa bimaculata (White-pinion Spotted)[7]
Lomographa temerata (Clouded Silver)[6]
Luquetia lobella[7]
Lycia hirtaria (Brindled Beauty Moth)[6]
Lymantria dispar (gypsy moth)[6]
Lyonetia prunifoliella[7]
Macaria alternata <Unverified Name>[6]
Magdalis barbicornis[6]
Magdalis ruficornis (Plum Weevil)[6]
Malacosoma castrensis (Ground Lackey)[6]
Malacosoma neustria (Lackey moth)[7]
Meganephria bimaculosa (Double-spot Brocade)[6]
Monodictys putredinis[8]
Mormo maura (Old Lady)[6]
Naenia typica (Gothic)[6]
Nematus lucidus <Unverified Name>[6]
Nitschkia cupularis[8]
Noctua comes (Lesser Yellow Underwing)[7]
Noctua fimbriata (Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing)[6]
Noctua janthe (Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing)[6]
Noctua janthina (Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing)[6]
Nola confusalis <Unverified Name>[6]
Nola cucullatella (Short-cloaked Moth)[7]
Numonia marmorea <Unverified Name>[6]
Numonia suavella <Unverified Name>[6]
Odontopera bidentata (Scalloped Hazel)[6]
Oecophora bractella[6]
Operophtera brumata (winter moth)[6]
Opisthograptis luteolata (Brimstone Moth)[6]
Orgyia antiqua (Rusty Tussock Moth)[6]
Orgyia recens <Unverified Name>[6]
Orthosia gothica (Hebrew Character)[6]
Orthosia gracilis (Powdered Quaker)[6]
Orthosia incerta (Clouded Drab)[6]
Orthosia miniosa (Blossom Underwing)[6]
Orthosia munda (Twin-spotted Quaker)[6]
Orthosia opima (Northern Drab)[6]
Orthotylus marginalis[6]
Ourapteryx sambucaria (Swallow-tailed Moth)[6]
Pammene spiniana[7]
Pamphilius balteatus <Unverified Name>[6]
Pamphilius sylvaticus <Unverified Name>[6]
Paraswammerdamia albicapitella <Unverified Name>[6]
Pareophora pruni <Unverified Name>[6]
Parlatoreopsis longispina (Asiatic pomegranate scale)[10]
Parlatoria oleae (olive parlatoria scale)[10]
Parornix finitimella[7]
Parornix torquillella[7]
Pasiphila chloerata <Unverified Name>[6]
Pasiphila rectangulata <Unverified Name>[6]
Perconia strigillaria (Grass Wave)[6]
Perenniporia ochroleuca[8]
Peribatodes ilicaria (Lydd Beauty)[6]
Phellinus pomaceus (Cushion Bracket)[8]
Phenacoccus prunispinosi[10]
Phigalia pilosaria (Pale Brindled Beauty)[6]
Phlebiopsis ravenelii[8]
Phorodon humuli (hop aphid)[6]
Phyllobius betulinus[6]
Phyllobius oblongus[6]
Phyllobius pyri (Common Leaf Weevil)[6]
Phyllobius roboretanus[6]
Phyllobius vespertinus[6]
Phyllonorycter cydoniella[6]
Phyllonorycter spinicolella[7]
Physatocheila dumetorum[6]
Physatocheila smreczynskii <Unverified Name>[6]
Phytoptus padi <Unverified Name>[6]
Phytoptus similis <Unverified Name>[6]
Plagodis pulveraria (Barred Umber Moth)[6]
Plemyria rubiginata (Blue-bordered Carpet)[7]
Poecilocampa populi (December Moth)[6]
Polia nebulosa (Grey Arches)[6]
Polygonia c-album (Comma Butterfly)[7]
Polystigma rubrum[8]
Pristiphora biscalis <Unverified Name>[6]
Pristiphora monogyniae <Unverified Name>[6]
Proutia betulina[6]
Pseudoips fagana[6]
Pseudoswammerdamia combinella[7]
Pulvinaria vitis (cottony vine scale)[6]
Putoniella pruni[6]
Ramphus oxyacanthae <Unverified Name>[6]
Recurvaria leucatella (Lesser Budmoth)[6]
Recurvaria nanella[6]
Rhodophaea marmorea[7]
Rhopalosiphum nymphaeae (water lily aphid)[6]
Rhopobota naevana (Holly tortrix moth)[7]
Rhynchites aequatus[6]
Rhynchites auratus[6]
Rhynchites caeruleus[6]
Rhynchites cupreus[6]
Rhynchites olivaceus[6]
Rhynchites pauxillus[6]
Saperda scalaris[6]
Saturnia pavonia (Emperor moth)[6]
Saturnia pyri (Great peacock moth)[7]
Saturnia spini (Sloe Emperor Moth)[7]
Satyrium acaciae (Sloe Hairstreak)[8]
Satyrium pruni <Unverified Name>[6]
Scythropia crataegella[7]
Semioscopis steinkellneriana[7]
Semiothisa alternaria[7]
Serendipita vermifera[8]
Skeletocutis nivea (Hazel Bracket)[8]
Smerinthus ocellata[8]
Sphaerolecanium prunastri (globose scale)[10]
Sphrageidus similis (Goldtail Moth)[6]
Spilosoma luteum <Unverified Name>[6]
Stauropus fagi (Lobster Moth)[6]
Sterictiphora furcata <Unverified Name>[6]
Stigmella plagicolella[6]
Stigmella prunetorum[7]
Strymonidia pruni <Unverified Name>[6]
Sturnus vulgaris (European Starling)[9]
Stypella subhyalina[8]
Teleiodes thomeriella[7]
Teleiodes vulgella[7]
Thalera fimbrialis (Sussex Emerald)[6]
Thecla betulae (Brown Hairstreak)[7]
Theria primaria (Early Moth)[7]
Theria rupicapraria[8]
Tischeria gaunacella[7]
Tortricodes alternella[7]
Trachycera suavella[7]
Trichiura crataegi (Pale Eggar)[7]
Trigonophora flammea (Flame Brocade)[6]
Turdus iliacus (Redwing)[9]
Turdus merula (Eurasian Blackbird)[9]
Turdus philomelos (Song Thrush)[9]
Turdus pilaris (Fieldfare)[9]
Turdus viscivorus (Mistle Thrush)[9]
Valeria oleagina (Green-brindled Dot)[6]
Valsaria insitiva[8]
Vuilleminia comedens (Waxy Crust)[8]
Vuilleminia coryli[8]
Vuilleminia cystidiata[8]
Xestia baja (Dotted Clay)[6]
Xestia triangulum <Unverified Name>[6]
Xylena exsoleta (Sword-grass)[6]
Yponomeuta padella (Common Hawthorn Ermel Moth)[7]
Ypsolopha horridella <Unverified Name>[6]
Zeuzera pyrina (leopard moth)[6]
Zygina ordinaria[6]


Parasitized by 
Diaporthe perniciosa[8]
Entoloma clypeatum[8]
Erysiphe prunastri[8]
Ganoderma australe[8]
Phellinus pomaceus[8]
Podosphaera tridactyla[8]
Tranzschelia discolor[8]
Tranzschelia pruni-spinosae[8]




Attributes / relations provided by
1Arnold SEJ, Faruq S, Savolainen V, McOwan PW, Chittka L, 2010 FReD: The Floral Reflectance Database — A Web Portal for Analyses of Flower Colour. PLoS ONE 5(12): e14287.
2Plants For A Future licensed under a Creative Commons License
3PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish Plants: Status, Size, Life History, Geography and Habitats, M. O. Hill, C. D. Preston & D. B. Roy, Biological Records Centre, NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (2004)
4ECOFACT 2a Technical Annex - Ellenberg’s indicator values for British Plants, M O Hill, J O Mountford, D B Roy & R G H Bunce (1999)
5Paula S, Arianoutsou M, Kazanis D, Tavsanoglu Ç, Lloret F, Buhk C, Ojeda F, Luna B, Moreno JM, Rodrigo A, Espelta JM, Palacio S, Fernández-Santos B, Fernandes PM, and Pausas JG. 2009. Fire-related traits for plant species of the Mediterranean Basin. Ecology 90: 1420.
Paula S. & Pausas J.G. 2013. BROT: a plant trait database for Mediterranean Basin species. Version 2013.06.
6Biological Records Centre Database of Insects and their Food Plants
7HOSTS - a Database of the World's Lepidopteran Hostplants Gaden S. Robinson, Phillip R. Ackery, Ian J. Kitching, George W. Beccaloni AND Luis M. Hernández
8Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
9Birds and berries: a study of an ecological interaction. Calton, Great Britain, Snow B.K., Snow D.W., 1988, T & AD Poyser. 268 p.
10Ben-Dov, Y., Miller, D.R. & Gibson, G.A.P. ScaleNet 4 November 2009
Protected Areas provided by Biological Inventories of the World's Protected Areas in cooperation between the Information Center for the Environment at the University of California, Davis and numerous collaborators.
GBIF Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Natura 2000, UK data: © Crown copyright and database right [2010] All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100017955
Images provided by Google Image Search
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access