What can be mistaken for sloe berries?
Sloes have shorter stems and hug the branches more. Steve pointed out (see comments) that sloes can be confused with Deadly Nightshade – you can see some photos Deadly Nightshade photos here.
What does the sloe berry look like?
The fruits, called sloes, are bluish-black ‘drupes’, often with a waxy coating. The fruit is round, between 1 and 1.5cm long, and contains one large stone and, normally, not much flesh. They are rich in vitamin C, but very sour to taste.
What bush grows sloes?
Blackthorn is famed for its purple fruits called sloes. Mature trees can grow up to 7m in height. Twigs form straight side shoots which turn into thorns.
How can you tell if its a sloe?
They should be a rich dark purple and should squash easily between your fingertips. It’s a good sign if they’ve already started to drop naturally to the ground. If you’re picking them for sloe gin then traditionally you wait until after the first frost.
When can I pick sloe berries?
Sloes should be picked when ripe and rich dark blue-purple in colour, and can be squashed. Some may have already fallen to the ground naturally. Traditionally sloes shouldn’t be picked until after the first frost, as it’s thought the frost splits the skin.
What month do you pick sloes?
The blackthorn produces these small, damson-like fruits across the bush and are most ripe after the first frost of winter. Blackthorns blossom between March and April and yield fruit from August to November – but it is advised to wait until later in the season to pick the best sloes.
Do sloe bushes have thorns?
Sloe bushes have sharp thorns and wild damson trees do not. Damsons have longer stems so hang and look more like a tiny plum. Sloes have shorter stems and hug the branches more.
Where can I find a sloe tree?
Foraging in London: Where to Find Seasonal Sloe Berries
- Hampstead Heath.
- Dulwich Wood.
- Wormwood Scrubs Park.
- Horsenden Hill.
- The Parkland Walk.
Where do you find sloe berries?
Sloes are the berries off the flowering blackthorn bushes, which is a common species found all over the UK. You’ll find blackthorn in most hedgerows. Each year the amount of fruit on blackthorn bushes varies greatly, depending on the weather throughout the year.
How long does a sloe bush take to grow?
Apparently, Blackthorn shouldn’t be grown in a pot; it is fast growing, and can achieve 40-60cm (two feet in old money) of growth each year. The RHS reckons around eight years before a decent cropping of sloes – however, I love my little bonsai Blackthorn and am a patient gardener – I can wait another three years.
What does a ripe sloe look like?
They should be a rich dark purple and should squash easily between your fingertips. It’s a good sign if they’ve already started to drop naturally to the ground.