This is another species of thorny shrubs and trees often used for security purposes. It is a common plant throughout much of Europe and the Mediterranean and thus is adaptable to many different climates. Like many plant species, they provide an attractive alternative as a security measure, but they also require regular maintenance.
In springtime it shows white flowers and produces edible black stone fruit, also known as a sloe, that may be distilled into a type of liquor. The berries contain a small amount of toxin which is harmless and even has medicinal benefits to humans in small doses, but may be harmful to small pets.
Benefits of Thorny Plants for Security
Thorns on this shrub provide a natural security measure. At full maturity Blackthorn may grow from a shrub to a tree. They may be planted in conjunction with shorter thorny undergrowth as a formidable barrier.
Maintenance of Blackthorn
Blackthorn may grow with some shade or no shade, but does require moist, yet well drained soil. It also grows well near bodies of water. It can grow in sandy, loamy, or clayey soils. It prefers acidic soils, but can also grow in alkaline soils. Insects and diseases present major issues with this plant. If you opt to plant a Blackthorn shrub you may need to take effective countermeasures against insects. It requires minimal pruning in the fall or winter, but you should prune diseased parts of the plant as soon as possible.
This species grows to a maximum height of five meters or of about sixteen and a half feet. Its bark is dark and it produces green serrated leaves and white flowers. The fruit is black at maturity.
Miscellaneous Blackthorn Facts
Besides eating the fruit raw, many people preserve it in jellies and syrups and distill it into liquor. In some traditional medicinal customs the fruit is used as an astringent and a remedy for digestive ailments. Some use the leaves for tea and the bark and fruit may be processed into inks or dyes. This plant figures prominently in the folklore of many regions.
Ancient Irish beliefs associate it with sorcery and mythical beings. Blackthorn provides an attractive alternative for home security. Its thorny bark presents a natural impediment to would-be intruders and its aesthetic appearance may enhance a home. You should remember that as with most plant species it requires regular maintenance.