Prunus spinosa

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Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Prunus spinosa, Linn. Blackthorn. Fig. 3215. Low and spreading, making a very thick thorny top, the young growths distinctly pubescent: lvs. small, obiong-obo- vate or elliptic-ovate, very numerous on the branches, nearly or quite obtuse, very finely and closely serrate: fls. white, small, borne singly or in pairs (or sometimes in 3's) and often on the thorns: fr. little larger than a very large pea; very deep glaucous-blue, usually persisting until winter, scarcely edible. Cent, and S. Eu. and N. Afr. to N. Persia and Siberia. G.C. III. 42:308. —Sometimes planted in this country, chiefly in the double-fld. form, var. plena, Hort. (Gn. 59, p. 76; 61, p. 363. G.M. 44:165). It is an excellent bush or small tree for protecting the borders and corners of drives and walks. The short stiff thorny branches make a good barrier. The tree is perfectly hardy where the plum can be grown. The little frs. are usually astringent, but there is a sweet-fruited form. It has been supposed by some that the domestica plums may have come from this species, but this is very doubtful, at least within the period of human experience with them. Var. purpurea, Hort., has purple foliage; fls. small and very numerous, pink: tree less spiny than the type. CH

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