No pollinators = No Sloes for Sloe Gin.
109 species of insect are associated with Blackthorn , including the rare Black Hair Streak Butterfly. As an early native flowering hedgerow plant, Blackthorn provides valuable nectar and pollen for bees and other pollinators. The foliage which appears after the flowers is food for many moth caterpillars. Birds, including Nightingales and Blackbirds nest within the thorny dense thickets and as part of the food web, eat the caterpillars and other insects on the leaves. Birds also feast on the sloe berries in the Autumn.
43 thoughts on “Wordless Wednesday – Spring Blackthorn Blossom”
……and very beautiful early in the year too!
Its one of those sights that makes me feel Spring is really here. 🙂
What a treasure for native wildlife and beautiful too!
I spend a lot of time looking in this hedge Marian whilst on my daily dog walk, when the flowers appear its a really magical sight.
Beautiful Julie. Not sure if they grow around here or not.
I’ve just looked that up as over the years several plants have been exported to America and some are now invasive, but it seems there are only a few states Blackthorn is growing in.
The fruits are very popular here and used to make Sloe Gin.
Thanks for taking time to look it up.
Lovely flowers for us and the critters!
Yes Donna, a whole hedgerow in flower is quite spectacular!
Not one I would like in the garden as it is so prickly but I was just looking at the flowers yesterday being visited by the bees and the little birds were hiding in it even though it is not fully in leaf yet. Amelia
No they are not really garden plants, unless its huge garden and the blackthorn is in a hedgerow, we get to enjoy one of our local farmers long Blackthorn hedges which he grows between his fields and they are never cut, the hedges facing south are just coming into flower. Lovely to see the wildlife enjoying it too.
Not at all familiar with this plant. Is it something like our American Wild Plum (Prunus americana) or Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana)? Lovely blossoms, in any case. We are not yet at the blossom stage here.
Same genus and similar, this one is thorny and often used as a stock proof hedge. I’m not sure if your fruits are used for anything, if you get to the sloes before the birds over here they are used to flavour gin, which is delicious in moderation!
Thanks, our spring wildflowers in Bedfordshire always seem to flower a bit later than yours in London, but a few Stitchwort and coltsfoot plus the Blackthorn and its starting to look like Spring here. 🙂
Would love to see coltsfoot as never seen one. Can’t wait for more wildflowers, especially fritillaries.
Great macro work. Your sloes seem to be very slightly advanced of ours. I’ve hardly seen any open blossom, but the white petals are all showing.
On the south facing side of this hedge, the blossom is beautiful, elsewhere its still in tight bud, a little more sunshine and hopefully we shall see the whole hedge in flower.
Beautiful, Julie. Always have to think of Felix Dennis’ poem ‘Blackthorn winter’ at this time of year, so apt. Happy Easter 🙂
His poem is beautiful Annette, Happy Easter to you too and I hope you have better weather than us! 🙂
I always wondered what the hedgerows were made up of but I never guessed it was a plum relative… and one with thorns too!
Glad you have a few local haunts where you can still enjoy this plant grown as a traditional hedge. I hear that so many have disappeared over the years. The flowers look great but are they fragrant? They look as if it might not be the nicest scent…
This is just one of the plants which make up the hedgerows here, but its beautiful and welcome and you are right we have lost a great deal of our hedges to agricultural practices, although farmers are being encouraged to plant more and pay more attention to the wildlife they attract. Although that could also be a great deal better too. As for scent, I shall check that out!
Beautiful photo! I love snowy blackthorn blossom – it is just coming into flower here in Suffolk though we’ll have to wait a little longer for the blackthorn in our hedge to flower as we are a little exposed and cold.
Happy Easter Clare, I have some lovely memories of walks when Blackthorn is in flower, but we will have to wait a bit longer to see the whole hedge in flower here as now a return to rain and wind for us this weekend after a beautiful Good Friday. I think we are all due the same weather, hopefully some more days like yesterday will be in store.
Happy Easter Julie! Friday was gorgeous wasn’t it?
I always love to see this in flower. Do you know Julie if a wild cherry flowers at the same time?
I guess you can tell the difference by the amount of thorn’s!
The wild cherries flower a few weeks later here, followed by wild damsons and plums, this part of the hedge is south facing, the reverse and where it curves around the bend as still in tight bud. The thorns on blackthorn are really pronounced and the wild cherries are trees here. The first to flower – Prunus cerasifera cherryplum is in blossom from January thats sometimes grown in hedges and is short in height but the blossom is very different to wild cherry – Prunus avium, which grows up to 30m.
sigh ………… 4 years ago I planted 10 as a short hedge in the fruit and berry garden will I ever see flowers ……….. Frances
just realised, I have the opposite to your opening words:
no flowers = no food for pollinators
Quite, I hope you will have some this year.
Frances, goodness, 4 years seem a long time to wait for flowers, I really hope you have signs of buds this year. We noticed a few species of fly were busy on the blackthorn flowers here, so guessing they were acting as pollinators.
reading your post reminded me I had not been over to have a look this year, so as it wasn’t rain Saturday morning I went over to see, they are not yet, but it is early for up here, however I was thrilled to see a few catkins on the Ash trees planted at the same time, thanks for the prompt, Frances
Such a lovely photograph 🙂
Thanks, I’m looking forward to lots more Spring flowers now. 🙂
Thanks for the info Julie, I will have to take more notice. Driving around the countryside there is lots of white blossom in the hedges, some tall, some short, I guess depending on if they are ever cut.
Do you have nightingales? They used to be plentiful here in Suffolk but they are getting rarer.
I always think that spring has arrived when I see the blackthorn in bloom.
Rarely, we haven’t heard one yet at all this year, although its still very early, hopefully by May we will have.
A lovely photograph Julie – a real sign of spring!
Thanks Kate, spring has brought lots of fresh wildflowers here this week, its such an uplifting time of year!
I think sloes must be a British berry because I’ve never heard of them here. But what beautiful flowers! 🙂
They are a native here but were taken to a few areas of the US, in flower as a country hedge its a really beautiful sight.
Lovely photograph Julie, we have masses of blackthorn locally here in North Wales that create onderful displays. I love the contrast of the dark bark of the branches and twigs, which are often draped with green lichen, and the fierce thorns with the delicate white blossom.
Thanks Theresa, I really like Blackthorn for just the same reason as you! We have some long Blackthorn hedges here with some wonderful lichens that on a winters walk make great viewing and studying material.