Monday, March 26, 2012

More pretty blossoms

At first I thought these were some of the blackberries that grow wild along the edges of the woods and the vineyards; they are starting to blossom now. In February, I took pictures of those brambles covered in snow. But on closer inspection of these photos, I don't see any thorns. When I took pictures of these with snow in February, they were definitely covered in thorns.

Blossoms on the verge of opening. Notice the definite lack of thorns.

Now I'm not at all sure what these are. I know where I took the pictures, so I'll have to go back out there to check it out. I know there are blackberries out there, and I don't think there are any other fruit trees, so I'm kind of stumped for the moment.

UPDATE: I think my first two commenters have nailed it: these are prunelles (sloe berries). Thanks MilkJam and Susan!

These blossoms had already opened. They look like plum blossoms, but smaller.

Today I'm planning on tackling the mole hills in the back yard. I want to move some of the dirt from the hills to a few places here and there that need some filling, like where I removed a bunch of iris bulbs. Otherwise, the dirt will just get spread into the grass. It won't be long before I'll need to get the lawnmower out and start cutting. Of course, I have a bunch of branches to cut up (from pruning the apple trees) before I can start that. There's still time.


  1. I think they are prunelles, wild plums. The English call them sloe (as in sloe gin). :-)

  2. MilkJam is right. These are prunellier, called blackthorn in English. The fruit are called sloes in English, prunelles in French. They are related to plums, but true wild plums are different - larger fruit that is greeny yellow or red, not black.

    1. Susan, they can be a rich black-blue too... the Bullace is a wild plum don't forget.

  3. Walt... there is a thorn in the left of your second picture... just behind the lovely blossoms. Just waiting to get the picker of fruit... there are also hybrids between wild plums and sloes... I forgot to add that to my reply to Susan's comment.

    Looking at the blossom that is coming on ours, this could be another sloe year... so more sloe rum to be made... unless we get a very sharp frost in early April to spoil the set of the fruit. You also use the young shoots to make Epine Noire... a very tasty beverage.

  4. That MilkJam and Susan think they're so smart!
    p.s. I'm just jealous because I never would have guessed in a million years.

  5. Is this what sloe gin is made from?

    1. Yes! or Sloe Rum... or Sloe Vodka.
      It is best to use an unflavoured gin... the original was made from Dutch
      Genever... I've never used London or Bombay gins, prefering dark rum as it goes much better with the plum flavour of the sloes.

  6. I think I tasted a couple of those yellow plums once and they are delicious!

  7. The flowers are delightful. I have no experience of either the fruit or the gin. :-(

  8. My husband, Mr. Decisive, says he like all seasons equally. But I L-O-V-E spring more than all of the other seasons combined. I wish the spring flowers would last forever.

  9. it is hard to imagine these blossoms are real; they are so lovely.

  10. milkjam, thanks. I should have known as they look just like miniature versions of standard plum blossoms!

    susan, merci! I see the fruit all the time in summer, but I never made the connection in my mind. Also, I didn't remember any of those at this particular spot.

    tim, all good ideas!

    mark, everyone who reads my blog is smart!

    judy, as tim says, yup. Although I think I've only had sloe gin once in my life.

    evelyn, our yellow plum trees are history now. :(

    will, they're very small... my picture makes them look larger than they are.

    cubby, as pretty as they are, they need to go away so that we can have summer fruit!

    michael, and they're in bloom right now all along the edges of the woods. Very pretty.

  11. Whatever their proper name they are quite lovely.


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