Wordless Wednesday – Spring Blackthorn Blossom

Blackthorn Blossom

Native Hedgerow plant – Blackthorn Blossom – Prunus spinosa

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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. 🙂

    • 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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