Armed by Nature: Thorns, Spines, and Prickles

My fellow Plant Geeks would agree, what plants lack in biceps, they make up for in some pretty remarkable adaptations including the trait of being “armed”. In many species, these plant structures play the first line of defense against threats posed by insects, mammalian browsers, and hasty gardeners, such as myself, who have recklessly forgotten to don gloves. And I would bet my pawpaw harvest that you too have been victim to this passive confrontation. Of course, I am referring to those pointy protrusions that produce temporary, yet sometimes excruciating, pain (and likely a couple of 4-...
Published on
Carrie Brown