Fruit identification help please



I walk past a small tree/massive bush laden with this fruit, and want to know if I can take advantage! Fruits now ripening, starting to fall to the ground. The fruits are about the size of grapes - teaspoon shown for scale! - and have a whitish powdery blush which is mostly rubbed off of the ones in this image. Leaf from the bush shown too, though it's the underside. Anyone able to identify? And is it edible/tasty?
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  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 55,004
    Probably a damson ... can you cut a fruit in half for us please?
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Joy*Joy* Posts: 338
    They have a groove like a plum and look like one of the damson varieties I had.
  • mrtjformanmrtjforman Posts: 193
    edited 15 August
    the teaspoon shows the scale so these damson plums would have to be smaller than cherries which I very much doubt is possible.

    How big is the bush and is it in someones garden or definetely wild growing?

    I think they are blackthorn berries which as far as I know are not edible mainly due to their taste. 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 55,004
    Wild damsons are frequently not a lot bigger than sloes (blackthorn fruit). I spent many hours as a child harvesting wild damsons, or Blackjacks as we called them, from around the stubble fields, for our mothers to bottle them in syrup or make pies and damson cheese. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Joy*Joy* Posts: 338
    We had a slow hedge in France. They had spines so tough that the penetrated the treads on our wellie soles. The leaves looked more like privet and after a rest in the freezer (no frost where we were) they made lovely slow gin. In my UK orchard we had sparrow damsons which were the shape of sparrows' eggs but bigger and an earlier variety which were like the ones here. The round damsons were not as good but were earlier. My question is, do your fruits have a stone in them ? If they don't they aren't damsons.
  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,131
    Look like Bullace which is the name for the wild plum. As suggested, cut one open to see what kind of stone or seed is on the inside.
  • Joy*Joy* Posts: 338
    Just noticed that the spell checker has corrected sloe to slow! 
  • tebulmertebulmer Posts: 3

    Thanks for all your suggestions folks - see pic of one cut open and stone inside. Definitely looks/feels very plum-like to me, so Damson suggestions would make sense. My wife also saw some people picking them yesterday, so hope we're not too late! Looking online it seems August is a bit early to be picking, but if it's an early variety as one of you mentioned they might be ok? Thanks again!
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 55,004
    Wild damsons/bullaces called blackjacks in the part of Suffolk where I grew up. 

    Or or if the bush had sharp spines its a blackthorn and those are early sloes ... if so they need to be frosted so put them in the freezer for a few days before buying whichever gin is on special offer and start making Sloe Gin 🍷 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Joy*Joy* Posts: 338
    I've just had a lightbulb moment! Is it possible that your tree/bush is the growth from the rootstock of a plum or damson tree which is no longer evident? My neighbours chopped down their orchard and the rootstocks on which the trees were grafted grew like a coppice. They had fruit like yours which they said that they preferred to the Victoria plums! They will be a semi wild variety and might not grow to a large size but will be perfectly edible. If they are a type of plum they will taste sweet. Sloes are really bitter and need to be frosted before you can use them.
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