Blackthorn, also known as 'sloe', is a small deciduous tree native to the UK and most of Europe.
Early flowering, blackthorn provides a valuable source of nectar and pollen for bees in spring. Its foliage is a food plant for the caterpillars of many moths, including the lackey, magpie, common emerald, small eggar, swallow-tailed and yellow-tailed. It is also used by the black and brown hairstreak butterflies.
Birds nest among the dense, thorny thickets, eat caterpillars and other insects from the leaves, and feast on the berries in autumn.