Thorns are altered branches or stems covered with pointy, sharp barbs. Thorn bushes can be either deciduous or evergreen shrubs that grow to 1 to 20 feet tall. Thorn bushes have a long history of protection; farmers and gardeners use thorn bushes to keep wildlife away from crops and livestock. Some homeowners plant thorn bushes next to windows and around the property line to deter burglars.
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Mysore raspberry (Rubus neveus) is a member of the Rosaceae plant family. This native of Southeast Asia develops into a large bush 10 to 15 feet in height. Mysore raspberry bushes have flexible green stems covered in hooked thorns. The 4- to 8-inch leaves have spines along their underside. Mysore raspberry bushes grow edible sweet black raspberries that turn dark black-purple when ripe. This bush thrives in well-draining soil and requires seasonal pruning.
Rosa ausca "Fair Bianca" is an upright, sturdy deciduous perennial rose. Fair Bianca reaches heights of 3 to 4 feet with a 2-foot spread. The stems of Fair Bianca are narrow with sharp thorns. From spring through summer, Fair Bianca blossoms with large, showy pure white English roses. The double flowers have a saucer formation and a strong scent. Fair Bianca rose bushes have ornamental value in gardens and walkways.
Southern dewberry (Rubus enslenii) is a perennial woody shrub from the Rosaceae family. This Texas native grows in numerous soil types and is found along roadsides, fences and thickets. Southern dewberries are a low-forming bush with thorn-covered stems. The thorns curve backward coupled with red tipped bristles. Southern dewberry bushes have star-shaped hairy leaves with a toothed edge. The fruit of the Southern dewberry is a black berry about 1 inch in diameter. Late spring to early summer the Southern dewberry blooms with white flowers.
Black hawthorn (Crataegus douglasii) is a deciduous thorny bush indigenous to northern and western North America. This compact, upright bush grows up to 30 feet in height, classifying some black hawthorns as small trees. The 1- to 4-inch long leaves of the black hawthorn are simple with an alternate arrangement and an egg shape. The bark of the black hawthorn has a thin appearance with scales, and the twigs have a reddish-brown colour and stiff short thorns. Black hawthorns grow edible dark purple fruit and white flowers with green centres.
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