The New International Encyclopædia/Sloe

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SLOE (AS. shā, slāhœ, OHG. slēha, Ger. Schlehe, sloe), or Sloe-Thorn (Prunus spinosa). A shrub of the natural order Rosaceæ, by some botanists supposed to be the original species of some of the cultivated plums. It is generally a much branched spiny shrub of 4 to 10 feet high, or sometimes a small tree of 15 to 20 feet, with small snow-white flowers, which generally appear after the leaves. The fruit, generally about the size of large peas, is used for making preserves, brandy, and gin. An astringent extract, called German acacia, prepared from it, was once much used as a substitute for gum arabic. The juice is much used in the manufacture of spurious port wine, and to impart roughness to the genuine. The sloe is abundant in European thickets and borders of woods, and in arid places, and is sparingly introduced in the Eastern United States.