A Thorny Question

Showing visitors around at the weekend, it suddenly occurred to us to wonder why these trees – which looked a bit like ash saplings – hadn’t been munched by our bovine neighbours, which have done a pretty good job of demolishing anything else within reach


Closer inspection revealed that they weren’t ash

not ash

And solved the mystery of why the cows hadn’t eaten them – they’re quite thorny

thorny stems

thorny stems

There are sharp little thorns between every leaf

more thorns

And even on some of the leaves themselves.

thorns on the leaves

All in all, not a plant you’d want to tangle with – but having cleared up one mystery, it only raised another: what the hell is it?


Thanks to the magic of Twitter, it would appear to be Aralia spinosa, or the Devil’s Walkingstick.


One Response to A Thorny Question

  1. commuterjohn says:

    It looks like a black locust tree.

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