Paliurus spina-christi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Paliurus spina-christi
Paliurus fg01.jpg
Jerusalem Thorn (Paliurus spina-christi)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Rhamnaceae
Genus: Paliurus
Species: P. spina-christi
Binomial name
Paliurus spina-christi
Mill.
Synonyms
  • Paliurus aculeatus Lam.
  • P. australis Gaertn.
  • Rhamnus paliurus L.
Frutis and seeds

Paliurus spina-christi, commonly known as Jerusalem Thorn, Garland Thorn, Christ's Thorn, or Crown of Thorns, is a species of Paliurus native to the Mediterranean region and southwest and central Asia, from Morocco and Spain east to Iran and Tajikistan.

It is a deciduous shrub or small tree growing to 3–4 m tall. The shoots are zig-zagged, with a leaf and two stipular spines (one straight, one curved) on the outside of each kink. The leaves are oval, 2–5 cm long and 1–4 cm broad, glossy green, with an entire margin. The fruit is a dry woody nutlet centred in a circular wing 2–3.5 cm diameter.

The name reflects an old legend that the spiny branches were used to make the crown of thorns placed on Christ's head before his crucifixion.

It is viewed as an ornamental curiosity and is cultivated in some areas spreading its range, including Fiji.

References[edit]


Paliurus spina-christi, Christ's Thorn shrub bearing fruits which are woody nutlets centered in a circular wing among the ruins of Side