Christ's-thorn

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

Christ's-thorn, name for several Old World plants popularly said to have composed the crown of thorns. It is applied most often to two members of the family Rhamnaceae (buckthorn family): (1) the Jerusalem thorn (Paliurus spina-christi), which is a spiny shrub or small tree with curious fruit resembling a miniature head under a wide-brimmed hat; and (2) a variety of jujube. Christ's-thorn is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Rhamnales, family Rhamnaceae.