bill riley's picture

Hedgerow treers and shrubs in winter

Observed: 23rd December 2009 By: bill riley
S159 Neighbourhood Nature - course complete
bill riley’s reputation in Plantsbill riley’s reputation in Plantsbill riley’s reputation in Plants
Blackthorn 1
Blackthorn 1 (2)
Blackthorn 1 (2) 2
Blackthorn 1 (2) 2 3
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) interacts


crs228's picture

Watch those spines

Bacteria grows on the tips of the Blockthorn spines. It is possible to have a bad reaction if you ge stuck by those. I spent one very unpleasant night with a swollen throbbing hand having stuck myself whilst hedgelaying!

Chris Metherell's picture

Prunus spp.

The problem here is, I think, a commonplace one although rarely considered in floras (although the latest Flora of Hertfordshire does indeed have a good summary). In addition to P. cerasifera, P. domestica (Wild Plum) also often has spines and can resemble P. spinosa. It is now thought that it arose as a stablised hybrid between P. spinosa and P. cerasifera. There is in fact a wide range of variation between these three species (which probably cross and back-cross as well to add to the confusion). I suspect that much planted "P. cerasifera" is in fact hybrid, or if not has been subject to nursery selection. A lot may even come in from abroad! There is a tendency (quite understandably) to record anything with large thorns as P.spinosa and anything without as P. cerasifera or P. domestica. Unfortunately the Plant Crib is not much help - merely saying that the position is complex! If anyone knows of any recent work on this problem it would be good to know. I have about six different floras in front of me as I write this and I'm not sure I'm much the wiser!

Chris Metherell
BSBI VC Recorder
North Northumberland