thorny question

Richard L. Brown moth at RA.MSSTATE.EDU
Wed May 17 12:39:59 CDT 2000

Based on unintentional ramdom sampling, thorns of some shrubs must have a
chemical associated with them because even a slight prick can cause pain
that's more severe and longer lasting that pricks from other thorns.  It
would be interesting to know if someone has examined potential irritants
associated with thorns, whether or not these are unique to the thorns, and
which species have the doubly whammy of chemical+thorn.

>OK, Now it is getting really interested! Is there any correlation between the
>toxicity and thorniness of plants?
>If a plant does invest into thorns, is it worth investing as well in chemicals?
>Is one way cheaper than the other, or are both ways usually correlated?
>If they are correlated, are there then more toxic plants in xeric than in moist
>conditions.....??? etc.etc.

Richard L. Brown
Mississippi Entomological Museum
Box 9775
Mississippi State, MS 39762
phone: (662) 325-2085
fax: (662) 325-8837
e-mail: moth at

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