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Lindsay's Flora Blog

Posted: Wednesday 8th April 2020 by trustadmin

Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa)

I probably should have started with this one as it really is a harbinger of spring; however, I got side-tracked with other things!

Blackthorn, actually a plant in the rose family, comes into flower all around the island in early spring, often as early as February, attracting a wide range of insects emerging from hibernation. Areas such as the Bonne Terre are transformed with this shrub, which forms white “clouds” along the valley sides.

The creamy-coloured five-petalled flowers come out before the leaves – and usually about a month before those of Hawthorn which flowers after its leaves have emerged: this is a good way of distinguishing between these two relatively similar shrubs.

In the autumn, of course, these plants will offer a wonderful harvest of sloes for those brave enough to dodge their spines!

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