Delicious, or dangerous?

I have only just noticed this small tree bearing blue berries outside the back door. Does anybody know what it is and should we be eating them…or not?

Are they plums? Can you cut one open and take a pic so we can see inside?

No, much smaller than plums, less than the size of blackberries and on a woody tree with spikes.

I’ll try cutting and snapping a bit later.

Perhaps sloes, I hope they are edible as I have 4 litres of sloe gin on the go ready for Christmas!!

If they have sharp (sharp!) thorns and the berries are close to the twigs it’s a sloe. If there are no, or very small not so sharp, thorns and the berries have a bit of a stalk then it is a wild damson. Can’t quite tell from photo.

Both are edible with a bit of help. Personally I either wait until after first frost to pick sloes, or pop them in the freezer, as otherwise the taste doesn’t develop. And then use them for slow gin or a fruit cheese. Damsons are also quite sharp, but more versatile.

They are very round aren’t they, along with the thorns, I’d say sloes.

Thanks to all for the info. The fruit is very small, about 8 or 9 mms across and the spikes long and very sharp.

I think the sloes have it. Jam or gin, I’ll have to investigate further.

The little tree has been there for years, not planted by me, I am no gardener, but I don’t remember it fruiting before.

Courgettes beware! Taste them first.


It is a good year for sloes this year…we have a great crop that’s better than we’ve had for many, many years. Sloes are not great for traditional breakfast jam as you need to much sugar you don’t get much sloe taste, so we find better to make a sloe “cheese” which isn‘t cheese but just means we eat it with cheese! Make it just like membrillo:

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Good heavens!

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Wow scary! Particularly for those of us growing numerous varieties of squash / courgettes etc. And giving our plants water stress :rofl: :rofl: I think I’ll be giving any new plants first fruits a sniff and a lick from here on out!

I always knew courgettes were dodgy :rofl: