Q:

What are some thorny bushes?

A:

Thorny bushes include buckthorn, poncirus, firethorn, hawthorn, brambles and roses. Though many gardeners would like to avoid thorny bushes in their gardens, many of them are worth the occasional prickle, either because they bear delicious fruit, beautiful flowers or autumn foliage. Indeed, some strategically placed thorny bushes can add to a home's security.

Roses have been around since antiquity, and rose lovers do endure the most vicious thorns to enjoy this bush's flowers, which often come with a pleasant scent. Rose bushes not only produce flowers but fruit called hips. Hips can be made into jams and jellies and are high in vitamin C. Rose petals are also distilled to make the costly and sought-after attar of roses.

The more prosaic Poncirus is a member of the citrus family. In the spring, it produces sweet-smelling white flowers; in the fall, it produces little oranges that are just about edible. Many gardeners leave them on the tree as natural ornaments.

Firethorn, or pyracantha, is a shrub that can grow from between four and 16 feet tall. It is a semi-evergreen plant that produces white flowers in the spring and red-orange berries in the fall that hang on well into winter.

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