Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Prunus spinosa

Distribution: Occurring in scattered locations on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; southwestern British Columbia to southern Oregon, east to Idaho.

Habitat: Moist draws, thickets, hillsides, roadsides, and railroads.

Flowers: April-May

Origin: Introduced from Eurasia and northern Africa

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Deciduous, rigid, thorny shrub, 1-4 m. tall, often forming dense thickets; twigs blackish, often downy when young.


Leaves alternate, elliptic-ovate to obovate, finely serrate, 2-4 cm. long, not shiny.


Flowers solitary from each of the numerous nodes of the spur, appearing before the leaves; pedicels glabrous, 10-15 mm. long; calyx glabrous; petals 5, white, oblong-obovate, 5-7 mm. long.


Drupe globose, deep bluish-purple, glaucous, 10-15 mm. broad; pit sub-globose, rough-pitted.

Accepted Name:
Prunus spinosa L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 475. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Prunus spinosa in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Prunus spinosa checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Prunus spinosa atlas page.

CalPhotos: Prunus spinosa photos.

USDA Plants: Prunus spinosa information.

14 photographs:
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