Plant Database forum: spines vs. thorns

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Name: Thijs van Soest
Mesa, AZ (Zone 9b)
Region: Arizona Enjoys or suffers hot summers Cactus and Succulents Xeriscape Adeniums Hybridizer
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Jan 15, 2016 11:39 PM CST
I noticed a few entries in the database for cacti where it was entered that the cactus has thorns, which is not the case. Thorns are modified branches whereas spines are thought to be modified leaves. I think this probably was selected because there is no option to indicate a plant has spines. Whereas most cacti do have spines this is not true for all of them (some do not have them at all and many loose them as the plant matures), so indicating a plant is a cactus does not make it true that it has spines.
In the entries I have made in the database so far - not that many - I had been selecting 'needled', but I have come to the realization that while cactus spines are some times described as needles, in the botanical sense they are not the same.
Would it be possible to add an option in the leave category to select 'spined'?
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
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Region: Alabama
Jan 16, 2016 7:57 AM CST
I never thought much about that, so I read up on it a little. So all these years I have thought roses had thorns and they actually have Prickles? I actually grown thornless roses?
It does sound like a "spined" category would be good. Is there a "prickle" category?
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Deer Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
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Jan 17, 2016 2:03 PM CST
Since few of us know the difference between thorns, spines, and prickles, perhaps it would make sense to clarify the choice in the database to include all 'ouchies'.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.

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