Blackthorn – Prunus spinosa
Blackthorn or sloe, is a species of flowering plant in the rose family Rosaceae. Native to Europe, western Asia, and locally in northwest Africa it is a prickly, deciduous hedging plant that provides seasonal interest, producing white flowers in the spring and sloes in the autumn. It grows best in moist, well-drained soil and thrives in full sunlight though since the plant is hardy it grows in a wide range of conditions.
The shrub, with its long, sharp thorns, is traditionally used in Britain and other parts of northern Europe to make a cattle-proof hedge. The fruit is similar to a small damson or plum, suitable for preserves, but rather tart and astringent for eating, unless it is picked after the first few days of autumn frost.