Paliurus is indigenous from Mediterranean regions to China and Japan, and comprises eight species, of which P. spina-christi is the main one to be cultivated. It requires some care and a sheltered spot. Christ’s crown of thorns was made of the stems of this shrub. P. spina-cbristi (syn. P. aculeatus), Christ’s thorn, Jerusalem thorn, is a deciduous, tangled, sometimes creeping shrub or small tree, 3 m tall with zig-zagging stems, oval, blunt, finely serrated leaves, 2-4 cm long, which are dark green on the upper side and pale green on the underside, spiny supporting leaves and umbels of yellow flowers. It has striking, disc-like, yellow fruits, 2-3 cm across, with wavy wings. This shrub is resistant to drought and requires a sheltered, sunny spot and dry, nutritious, well-drained soil. Cover the base in winter. Propagate from seed (autumn), by layering and from cuttings.

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