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As the years go by, some plants develop some of the most advanced and wickedest forms of defense. And most of the practical developments are thorns, spines, or prickles.
It can be complicated for you to grow and maintain plants with thorns and prickles, but when it comes to security, it is best to put on your fist floor windows.
Some of the most popular plants with thorns on leaves include holly, acacia, agave, crown of thorns, bougainvillea, blackberry, honey locust, etc. These plants are known to be very effective when it comes to protecting your home and styling at the same time.
However, if you have animals and small children in the house, you should reconsider this because it might harm them.
Let’s quickly learn more about these plants!
What Are Thorns on Leaves?
Thorns are modified parts of certain plants that are majorly used for defense against predators and sometimes against humans as forms of security. The thorns are usually pointy and occur on the axis of leaves, where branches usually develop.
Thorns and spines are usually alike, except that spines are pointy parts of pointy leaves, and most of them are referred to as stipular spines because the pointy parts of the stipule are located at the base of the leaves.
See Also: Plants With Spores
Plants With Thorns On Leaves
Some well-known plants that come with thorns on their leaves include;
You should see this plant as the no-nonsense version of the rose flower; no excess plant shows off but all prickles and canes. Blackberries can grow up to five feet high and are incredibly fast growers.
However, when these prickles prick on the skin, they can cause a lot of pain, so you must be very careful during pruning.
These blackberries proliferate, and for that reason, you would need to prune them diligently. However, blackberries can be very impressive indoors as they can help protect your home, come in a beautiful color, and provide you with berries!
2. Acacia Trees
Acacia trees have their origin in Australia, making them unique because only a thorny tree can survive in a rugged land like Australia.
It is often held as a rumor that acacia trees are used for medicinal purposes in Egypt to treat hemorrhoids, but when it comes to security, the stems of this tree give out most of the punishment.
The prickles on these trees are slightly curved, making it harder not to let go once it has a grip on you. So, if the main aim of having this acacia tree is not for security, there are several other species you can choose from with fewer thorns.
3. Crown Of Thorns
From the name of this plant, you should already know what it implies, and you should know that its name is not all for jokes.
These remarkable plants can grow up to three to five feet high with heavy thorns on even branches. Crown of thorns originates from Madagascar and usually needs support from other plants to hod it up.
Looking at this plant from the top, it seems like an array of harmless, beautiful flowers, but the thorns it would present to you are no jokes from the inside. The sap of the crown of thorns can be very harmful if ingested and, if it touches your skin, can lead to severe skin irritation.
4. Honey Locust
No one can climb on this tree because it can grow up to 60-90 feet tall, and apart from that, its bark is covered with 6-inches dagger-like thorns, making it even more impossible to get to the top of the tree.
According to botanists, this honey locust tree evolves to produce these sharp thorns to protect the trees from harmful climbers that tend to roam around north America thousands of years ago. Although its historical faunas are no more, its defensive fauna still lives to carry on with the tree.
5. Oregon Grapes
Oregon grapes, also known as mahonia, have beautiful foliage leaves. Still, you shouldn’t let that deceive you because each of these waxy leaves is overlined with spines that can cut through even leather, so imagine what that can do to your skin if you are not careful.
This plant is clustered with edible blue-black berries that you can eat as a late-season treat. Since this shrub produces dense foliage, you can shape it into whatever shape you want.
When you hear the name holly, red fruits immediately come to your mind, but no one could imagine that a plant with such a great name would be thorn filled. Each of the leathery spines on this plant has a leathery leave with about three to five sines around its sides.
Initially, believers used this plant pre-Christian times to ward off evil spirits and celebrate the winter festival. However, Christians now started adding their meanings to this plant as it is used to signify the crown of thorns that Jesus wore during his crucifixion.
Hawthorns are shrubby trees that can grow up to fifty feet, but it depends on the specie you would be getting. To compensate for these thorns, they produce a white flower during the early spring, and that is then followed by a red fruit that is edible in some species and not all.
Various species of these fantastic plants produce flowering plants suitable for small yards and frontages and serve as a source of protection to your homes. Some varieties like the pendula have weeping branches; strict has a narrow and upright growth.
8. Fire Thorn
Firethorns, also referred to as pyracantha, are ready to prick everything you throw at it, and even when pruned with pruning shears, it is also a battle. The needle-like spikes of this plant are used majorly as a security mechanism from unwanted visitors coming around its area.
The firethorn has a feature tip that consists of four-inch-long hypodermics. With this thorny beast in your yard, you should know that your yard is t least safe to a point.
Agave is a genus of plants that consists of many other succulent species. The agave plant has a lot of spikes which makes it adapt well to its dessert environment.
The spines work by deterring predators from poking at the plant. The spines on these plants are so vital that they were used by Mexican women for sewing back in the day.
What Plants Have Sharp Leaves?
Some plants with sharp leaves include the yucca plant, agave, aloe vera, pampas grass, saw palmetto, and the prickly pear cactus. Although most of these plants are stunning, you would want to maintain your distance when you’re around them and be very careful when handling them.
It would help if you always remembered that maintaining your safety in a garden should be your number one priority. Yucca plants, most significantly, can cause severe damage when it comes in contact with the human skin. So, if you wish to incorporate plants like this in our garden, you should ensure that you keep visitors safe.
What Plants Look Like Poison Ivy but Have Thorns?
You can identify that the plant is poison ivy with its alternating compound leaf that has three leaflets. The edge of the leaflet may or may not have lobes, but it is not serrated. In addition, the stems of poison ivy plants have no thorns.
Common plants usually mistaken for poison ivy include raspberries and blackberries because they also come in three leaves. Still, a way you can identify the poison ivy from these two is that poison ivy makes use of its aerial roots to cling to the plants while the other ones make use of twinning petioles either.
Are Glochids Poisonous?
Whenever you think of cactuses, the first thing that should come to your mind is the thorns. But there are two types of thorns on cacti, the large and visibly spiky ones and the tiny, fine, and hairlike ones.
These spines are called the glochids, and you can visibly see them even if you do not touch the cactus. These irritating spines on the cactus are not found on all types of cacti but on the prickly pear cactus.
Glochids are poisonous, and it would be better for you to avoid them because one contact with them can leave a lot of invisible barbs on your skin. You should ensure that you prevent them because it is far better than a cure.
Can You Touch a Prickly Pear?
The little spots you would find on this type of cactus are not thorns; instead, they are glochids which are little hairlike splinters you can find on this plant. If you must touch the prickly pear cactus, you should ensure that you cover your hands adequately so you do not come in contact with this glochid, which can irritate your skin.
You shouldn’t scratch aggressively when you feel like you have a glochid in your skin because it might just worsen the whole case. Instead, you should get an older person to help you get it out of your skin gently.