About This Plant

Prunus spinosa ‘Purpurea,’ commonly known as Purple-leaved Blackthorn or Sloe, is a deciduous shrub that is prized for its striking dark purple foliage. This cultivar of the blackthorn typically grows to a height of 6-10 feet (1.8-3 meters).

The Story


The leaves are simple, oval-shaped, and finely serrated along the edges. They are arranged alternately along the branches, forming a dense and bushy appearance. The upper surface of the leaves is a dark green, while the undersides often exhibit a paler hue. Each leaf measures approximately 2 to 4 centimetres in length and features a pointed tip.


The shrub features small, white, spring-blooming flowers that give way to small, dark purple fruits known as sloes in the late summer or early autumn. While its fruit, sloes, are quite bitter and are not typically eaten fresh, they are often used in the production of sloe gin and preserves.
Home » Attractions » The Arboretum » Features » Purple Sloe