November’s Polly & Nate Club pick is… Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa).
Blackthorn is a native species and can be found in hedgerows, woodlands, parks and gardens. It is a low growing tree, with dark bark and thin branches and is an excellent choice for hedging. Creamy-white flowers emerge from March-June and dark purple fruit follow in Autumn.
Blackthorn benefits a wide range of wildlife, not just pollinators. As it is early flowering, blackthorn is a valuable source of nectar and pollen for bumblebees, honeybees and butterflies while its foliage is a food source for many different species of moth caterpillars. When planted as a hedge, its mass of thorny stems provides shelter for nesting birds and its fruits feed birds such as thrushes and waxwings in Autumn. It also attracts hedgehogs.
Blackthorn is available as bare root later this month if you’re interested in forming a native, wildlife friendly hedge. It is available by itself or as part of a native mix (10 metre pack, 20 metre pack, per metre). It is recommended to plant 5-7 per metre, so a pack of 25 would be suitable for 5 metres. Bare root is available from November to March, and is the best choice when planting a hedge so check out what other bare root we have available!