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Christ's-thorn

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.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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