One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A thorny shrub or small tree with small purple-black fruits similar to plums. The damson is probably a cultivated form.
Prunus domestica subsp. insititia (or P. insititia), family Rosaceae
- ‘Then there are the sloes and bullaces, almost always to be found in old hedges, which at this season have a misty blue bloom on them, equal to any that we see on the grape.’
- ‘It is hard to find; if there's a bullace tree near you, make sure local people treasure it.’
- ‘Gages, bullaces and damsons are all grown in the same way as plums.’
- ‘I discovered a bullace tree, a wild plum, absolutely loaded with fruit and resolved to pick some fruit and make some wine, all the while documenting the process with recordings.’
- ‘It didn't take long to track down two types of bullace in West Berkshire in the surrounding area, thanks to Newbury Weekly News readers and BBC Radio Berkshire listeners.’
Middle English: from Old French buloce ‘sloe’: of unknown origin.
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