The Blackthorn is a deciduous shrub that is native to Europe, Western Asia, and Northwest Africa. It grows to be about seven feet tall, and has blackish bark and dense, stiff, branches that are covered with thorns.
The flowers, which are rather pretty, bloom in early spring. They are about an inch in diameter and have five creamy white petals. The berries, which resemble blueberries, ripen in the fall. They are edible, but they have a rather tart taste. They're better for making jams than for eating off of the bush. The juice from the berries is used to make Spurious Port Wine.
Probably the best use for the Blackthorn is as a hedge. In fact, Europeans used to use it to keep out the cows (or in). Blackthorn can be found in a wide range of soils, from moist to well-drained, and from acidic to alkaline. They also live a long time. Some have been known to live up to one hundred years.