Q:

What plants have thorns?

A:

Quick Answer

There are many plants that bear thorns; some of the most common are cacti and roses. Any plant with thorns should be handled with care to prevent injury.

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Full Answer

There are over 2,500 species of cacti that are characterized by their large spines or thorns. Ranging from average house plants to wild versions found only in the desert, these prickly plants come in all shapes and sizes. Another common thorn-bearing plant is the rose. Careful florists may de-thorn roses before creating bouquets, but rose stems are naturally covered by hard, woody thorns.

Although cacti and roses may be the first thorn-bearing plants that come to mind, there are many more. Others include succulents like the yucca, agave and aloe plants, trees like the tropical palm and some citrus-bearing trees, and berry bushes like raspberry or blackberry bushes. Thorny plant varieties vary depending on geographic location.

Thorns developed to defend plants against its natural predators. They are an evolutionary adaptation that enhances the safety of the plant. Thorns or spines are modified branches or leaves that have evolved their shape over time. Due to their sharp texture and look, they are a popular choice for placement along fences and the borders of home gardens.

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