Word of the Day – Wednesday, April 18th



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SLOE (sloh)

The fruit of the Blackthorn tree
Common clues: Gin flavoring; Blackthorn; Wild plum; _____ gin fizz; Purplish fruit; Fruit of the blackthorn; Fruit for flavoring gin; Plumlike fruit
Crossword puzzle frequency: 7 times a year
Frequency in English language: 74462 / 86800
How to make sloe gin

The blackthorn is native to Europe, western Asia, and north Africa. The common name is derived from its dark bark and skin, and from the thorns or spines that it bears.

It is covered in white flowers in early spring, and is often the first flowering tree in the countryside in its native regions. It bears a fruit called the sloe, which is similar to a small damson or plum, suitable for preserves, but too sharp to eat; in rural England so-called sloe gin is made from them, though this is not a true gin but a liqueur. In Navarra, Spain, patxaran is a popular liqueur made with sloes.

The blackthorn is extensively planted for hedging and for cover for game birds. Some forms are grown for ornament and flower. The foliage is sometimes eaten by the larvae of Lepidoptera including Emperor Moth, Common Emerald, November Moth, Pale November Moth, Mottled Pug, Green Pug, Brimstone Moth, Feathered Thorn, Brown-tail and Yellow-tail.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Sloe”.