Name: Blackthorn

Scientific name: Prunus spinosa

Category: Trees and bushes

Nature Stars: 30

What are nature stars?

About: A shrub of hedgerows and woodland edges. Very thorny, with white flowers during March and April and masses of deep purple fruits ('sloes') during the winter.

How to identify: Told from the similar Wild Plum or Bullace by the smaller fruit and narrower leaves.

Where: Widespread

Fantastic fact: Sloes are collected in the early winter to make Sloe Gin, a favourite winter drink in many parts of the country.

Photograph credit: Amy Lewis

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