New cultivars suitable for home gardening
The blackthorn or sloe, eaten by us for thousands of years, has three new large-fruited cultivars from Lubera that make them much more than a forager’s crop.
Sloes are our original prunes and primordial damsons; modern plum and damson varieties are said to have originated from hybridisations of blackthorn with the cherry plum (Prunus cerasifera).
The benefits of large-fruited blackthorn varieties:
- Fewer thorns than ordinary varieties.
- No suckers, as they are grafted onto the weak rootstock St. Julien.
- Earlier harvesting and processing: they can be harvested in September and October before the first frosts, as they do not need frosting to break down the bitterness and acidity to become edible.
- Flowers: White, dense inflorescences.
- Harvest: October-November, even possible before freezing, but better to wait for the first frosts.
- Fruits: Large, up to 2cm.
- Growth: Strong, 3-4m.
- Flowers: Dense, white flowers.
- Harvest: A late maturing variety, so it should be harvested after the first frosts.
- Fruits: Large, 17mm.
- Growth: Compact, bushy, 2.5m.
- Flowers: Covered with white flowers.
- Harvest: Can be harvested even before the frosts.
- Fruits: Large, 1.5-2cm.
- Growth: 2-3m; few thorns.
All supplied as a strong plant in a 10L pot, costing £32.40. For more details, visit www.lubera.co.uk.