|Copyright: denny messelodi (xdennyx) (28)|
|Date Taken: 2007-03-17|
|Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Canon 75-300 mm|
|Exposure: f/5.6, 1/250 seconds|
|More Photo Info: [view]|
|Photo Version: Original Version|
|Date Submitted: 2007-03-18 11:05|
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
The Blackthorn is a large shrub or a small tree of the genus Prunus, botanically Prunus spinosa. Its fruit is called the sloe, or in the Scots language, slaes.
The blackthorn is native to Europe, western Asia, and north Africa. The common name is derived from its dark bark and skin, and from the thorns or spines that it bears. In Ireland, a straight blackthorn stem is traditionally made into a walking stick named a Shillelagh. A Shillelagh (pronounced "shi-LAY-lee") is a wooden club or cudgel, typically made from a stout knotty stick with a large knob on the end
It is covered in white flowers in early spring, and is often the first flowering tree in the countryside in its native regions. It bears a fruit called the sloe, which is similar to a small damson or plum, suitable for preserves, but too tart to eat (unless deeply frozen, as it is practiced in Eastern Europe); in rural England so-called sloe gin is made from them, though this is not a true gin but a liqueur. In Navarra, Spain, patxaran is a popular liqueur made with sloes. Sloes can also be made into jams and if preserved in vinegar are similar in taste to Japanese umeboshi.
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