Friday, 7 April 2017

Prunus

The hedgerows are filled with the flowers of various members of the Prunus genus at the moment. I have recently mentioned the Cherry trees and their wonderful blossom and right now, they are accompanied by huge quantities of Blackthorn blossom.
Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) is among the first of the British bushes to produce flowers each spring making it a welcome source of nectar for early-flying insects. The downside of such early flowering, is that the flowers can be nipped by frost. But this year, the display is magnificent.
Blackthorn wood has traditionally been used for walking sticks as well as Irish shillelaghs. Later in the year, we shall have the fruits to look forward to. The Sloes are like tiny, deep purple/blue plums and are a great favourite as a flavouring for Gin. But for now, lets just enjoy the bounteous blossoms
The cherries of course are another of the genus Prunus and are looking wonderful right now. Along the Nutbrook trail this morning, one particular stretch of hedgerow was filled with their blossom.
Against the blue spring sky they are quite spectacular and hundreds of bees were enjoying the flowers at least as much as we were.
As we walked around the lakes of Straw's Bridge, we got a closer view of one cherry tree, and what a beauty!
That calls for another picture I think.
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