Plant type

Deciduous shrub or small tree

Height & spread

5m x 4m (but smaller depending on size of hedge)

Wildlife benefit

Bird (fruits and shelter), bee, butterfly nectar, butterfly caterpillar and moth caterpillar plant

  • Native. A suckering, thorny shrub, useful for creating a dense base to the hedge.
  • White flowers on bare stems from March to April are followed by small, plum-like fruits known as sloes.
  • Fruits eaten by pheasants, woodpigeons, waxwings, thrushes, starlings and crows. Stones sometimes eaten by tits and finches
  • Nest site for Blackbird, Song Thrush, Finches, Common Whitethroat and Woodpigeon, also used by Yellowhammer and Long-tailed Tit.
  • Butterfly plant. Black-Veined White, Black Hairstreak and Brown Hairstreak Butterfly food plant.
  • Bee and bumblebee plant.
  • Mottled Pug, Green-brindled Crescent, Chinese Character, Lackey, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Magpie, Swallow-tailed, Yellow-tail, Brimstone, Sloe Carpet, Lunar Thorn and Scalloped Moth food plant.
  • A myriad of other insects can also be found on blackthorn.