Did You Know? (Thorn Edition)

Roses have prickles and not thorns?

A thorn is a sharp modified stem that grows out of the woody stems of many kinds of trees and shrubs such as honey locust and hawthorn with a short growth period that ends with a formation of a sharp, hardened tip. Prickles, which grow on roses, are simple outgrowths of the surface of the stem and spines are the thorn-like structures that are actually modified leaves on plants such as cactus, black locust and barberry. I found this in Volume 19, for the letter T, of the 2017 World Book Encyclopedia.

Ortho’s All about Roses will tell you about the planting, pruning, feeding and selection of the best roses for your gardening needs. It also has plenty of informative pictures of proper pruning as well as information about possible insect damage and control.

Encyclopedia of Roses by Charles & Brigid Quest-Ritson is just that, over 2000 beautiful pictures of different roses including information on hardiness zones, sizes and scents. The Rose: A True History by Jennifer Potter, a horticultural historian, gives us the history of the ‘Queen of Flowers’ from all over the world. You will know more about roses than you ever thought possible!

Whether it has prickles, thorns or spines, many plants make great decorations. Beautiful Winter by Edle Catharina Norman and Branches and Blooms by Alethea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo both have some beautiful ideas for wreaths, garlands and table decorations using all sorts of branches, flowers and natural materials.

Thorns, prickles, and spines are confusing enough, but let us add spikes to the mix! Dracaena, or spike plant, was traditionally considered a houseplant for years. However, it is finding favor in annual container gardens where the spiky upright leaves provide height and textural contrast to bushy and cascading annual flowers.

A prickle also describes an experience of a tingling sensation, especially as a result of strong emotion or to have a creeping sensation. Oh! I think just reading that gave me a prickle up my spine! Mr. Prickles: a Quill fated Love Story by Kara LaReau is a story about a porcupine with no friends because he is prickly, until he meets Miss Pointypants. There really is someone for everyone!

One thought on “Did You Know? (Thorn Edition)

  1. Excellent Blog! Had no idea that a rose bush has “prickles” and not a thorn! None the less, they still hurt like crazy when poked!

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