Are the berries of this plant edible?
What’s this plant? I saw this shrub in Southern France in the wild park, and was wondering if it was possible to eat the berries or not. Of course, I didn’t taste them 🙂 But I would like to know the name of this shrub. Thanks for your help in identifying it!
Are the berries edible?
What is this shrub?
It looks like Prunus spinosa on the photos. Common names of this plant are Blackthorn, or Sloe. It is a species of Prunus native to Europe, western Asia, and locally in northwest Africa.
The name spinosa is a Latin indicates the pointed and thornlike spur shoots characteristic of this species.
The common name “blackthorn” is due to the thorny nature of the shrub, and its very dark bark.
The fruit is similar to a small damson or plum and called a “sloe”, is black with a purple-blue waxy bloom, ripening in autumn, and harvested—traditionally, in October or November after the first frosts. Sloes are thin-fleshed, with a very strongly astringent flavour when fresh. Prunus spinosa fruit is suitable for preserves, but rather tart and astringent for eating, unless it is picked after the first few days of autumn frost.