• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigourous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Prunus spinosa

Blackthorn

Blackthorn

© � RHS 2002

  • Other common names Blackthorn
    Sloe

    Sloe plum
    Buckthorn
    Bullace
    Skeg
    Snag

    see more
  • Genus Prunus can be deciduous or evergreen trees or shrubs with showy flowers in spring, and often good autumn foliage colour. Some have edible fruit in autumn, and a few species have ornamental bark

  • Family Rosaceae / Rosaceae

  • Species P. spinosa is a small thorny deciduous tree with dark green, ovate leaves, and small white flowers in early spring, followed by ovoid, bloomy black fruits 1.5cm across

  • Plant range Eur. to Russia Med.

Characteristics

  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Bushy

Colour

Sunlight

  • Full Sun

  • Aspect South-facing or North-facing or West-facing or East-facing

  • Exposure Exposed or Sheltered

Soil

  • Chalk

    Chalk

  • Chalk

    Clay

  • Chalk

    Sand

  • Chalk

    Loam

  • MoistureMoist but well-drained

  • SoilChalk, Clay, Sand, Loam

  • pHAcid, Alkaline, Neutral

Size

  • Ultimate height

    2.5-4 metres

  • Ultimate spread

    2.5-4 metres

  • Time to ultimate height

    20-50 years

How to grow

Cultivation Easy to grow native shrub or small tree, that can be used for hedging. Grows in any moist well-drained soil in full sun

Propagation Propagate by softwood cuttings in early summer with bottom heat or propagate by seed

Suggested planting locations and garden types Low Maintenance Wildflower meadow Wildlife Gardens Coastal

How to care

Pruning Pruning group 1. Prune in mid-summer if silver leaf is a problem

Pests Susceptible to damage from aphids, caterpillars and bullfinches

Diseases May be subject to silver leaf and blossom wilt

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