The New Student's Reference Work/Sloe
Sloe, a wild plum, also called blackthorn. It is a shrub growing from four to ten feet high though sometimes forming a small tree. The branches end in sharp points or spines. The flowers are white, appearing before the leaves. The fruit, about the size of large peas, is sometimes made into preserves, but is bitter and little used. The leaves resemble tea-leaves and have been used to adulterate tea, and the juice is used in making an inferior port-wine. The wood takes a fine polish and is used for tool-handles and canes. The sloe is thought to be the original of all the European varieties of the plum.