Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa)
They are just about coming out now and for the next three weeks or so the hedgerows will look as though they have had a heavy dusting of flour!
Blackthorn is unique in that the flowers come before the leaves whereas the other hedgerow shrubs are all the other way round. Blackthorn is invariably the first to flower as well.
Close up the flowers are really lovely; pure white petals with two small dots on each and in the centre white stamens. Early insects will pollinate these flowers to give us sloes in the autumn.
The current cold weather will undoubtedly bring to mind the country saying of it being a 'Blackthorn winter'.