Purple Sloe

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 Appearance

A small deciduous shrub with a spreading habit and dark green, oval leaves. It produces small, purple-black fruits known as sloes.


The Produce

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.


The Flowers

Produces clusters of small, white flowers in spring, followed by the purple-black sloes in autumn.


The Leaves

They are arranged alternately along the branches, forming a dense and bushy appearance.


The Bark

The bark is dark brown and smooth, becoming more fissured with age.


The Habitat

Prefers well-drained soils and full sun to partial shade. Commonly found in hedgerows and along woodland edges.


The Ecology

Provides habitat and food for various wildlife, including birds and insects. The flowers attract pollinators and the fruits are eaten by birds.


The Culture

Valued for its fruits, which are used to make sloe gin and preserves. Also popular in traditional hedgerows.


Fun Facts

The sloe, or blackthorn, is known for its tart, astringent fruits that are often used to flavor spirits like gin.

The Connection To Burton Constable

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