The thicket of Blackthorn is a common feature of the Irish hedgerow, it’s dark spiny branches giving rise to the name. During Spring it’s almost white with contrasting flowers which appear in clusters along its branches. The fruit known as sloes appear in Autumn and are used to flavour Gin or Poitín. The dense wood of the branches is used to make the well-known shillelagh. In folklore, the shrub is associated with Cailleach, the goddess of winter. Portrayed as an old hag, she was often associated with witches. Witches wands are also thought to have been made from Blackthorn twigs.
One of a series of botanical illustrations based on Ireland's native hedgerows by Sally Caulwell. Dog-rose, primrose, gorse, wild garlic and the humble dandelion also feature. Dimensions: A4 (210 x 297mm) print on 340gsm uncoated paper. Print inset with white border.