Here I highlight some unusual plants with nasty thorns and spines.
This cactus ‘tree’ was spotted on an art walk in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Pachypodium is a succulent spine-bearing tree, native to Madagascar and Africa, often called the Madagascar Palm. Pachypodium translates as ‘thick foot’ and eventually this succulent trunk, which stores water for the plant, becomes swollen and vase-shaped at the base. Another photo of the same plant. The fleshy trunk and the oval shape of the leaves remind me of Plumeria trees, the favourite fragrant flower in Hawaiian leis. Apparently these ‘palms’ are a close relative, also often having fragrant flowers. Plumerias are thornless and much friendlier though.I’m not sure what this one is but this plant with thorny stems was found in the Singapore Botanical Garden. Something about the way it looks makes me think that it might also be related to the Madagascar Palm above.This Crown of Thorns plant in Myanmar again has the same oval leaves and general nasty demeanour of the Madagascar Palm – another relative? Spiny Crown of Thorns plant with red flowers in a Penang temple in Malaysia.Pencil sketch of a Crown of Thorns plant in Myanmar.Vicious (and not very pretty) prickly plant in Khao Yai National Park in Thailand.The Kapok tree, Ceiba pentandra, produces seeds with a silky fibre. In contrast to the silky seed floss, the trunks of the trees have vicious thorns erupting from them.Although unfriendly plants seem to do better in hot places there are lots of thorny plants in cooler places too. This Wingthorn Rose, Rosa Omeinsis, with its vivid red thorns, was found in a Vancouver garden. Another thorny plant from Vancouver with Dr Seuss leaves – it must look very different once all the leaves are out!A boggy trail to Middle Joffre Lake is lined with Devil’s Club. This could make wandering off the trail very painful if you even brushed up against one of these beautiful but prickly characters. (BC, Canada)Of course there are the typical thorny plants like roses and brambles but I wanted to feature some of the more unusual thorny plants.
More of the Friendly Friday Photo Challenge: Unusual.