Frank P Matthews
Damsons, with their richly astringent flavour, are peculiar to the UK and are easily grown in most situations. Damson trees originate from the native plum, Prunus insititia. Sloe or Blackthorn damsons appear in our hedgerows in Prunus spinosa which is widely planted in Europe.
All varieties are self-fertile, so, therefore, don’t need a pollination partner. We grow damson trees on a range of rootstocks from semi-dwarf to very vigorous.
The delicious fruits are so versatile, being used for gin, beer, wine, vinegar, jam, cheese, jelly, and even chocolate! Some varieties can be eaten fresh. Damson fruits are ready for picking from late August to mid-September.
Very small with a blue-black bloom. Good quality cooker. Hardy and regular cropper in northern districts.
Unusually large damson both for dessert and culinary use. Reliable heavy crops of blue-black fruits, deliciously sweet.
The ‘Greengage of Damsons’. Very reliable cropper with intense sugary flavours and dark blue in colour.
The Classic German ‘Hauszwetsche’ sweet prune for traditional ‘plum cake’ and fresh eating.
Black-blue bloom, large fruit. Reliable cropper and self fertile. Best when made into jams, preserves or fruit pudding.
A traditional English variety that produces large yellow bullace, round to oblong fruits of sweet, sharp flavour.
Late picking, self-fertile variety. Round, sweet fruit that can be eaten fresh or used for cooking.
Dessert fruit of plum quality. Oval, blue/black with attractive bloom. Can drop from the tree in August.
Small round to round oblong, blue black with a good bloom, best for culinary use. Self Fertile.