Christ thorn, Jerusalem thorn

Paliurus spina-christi Mill.

Rhamnaceae (Buckthorn family)


Christ thorn is a shrubby tree from Asia that has become established in certain riparian (associated with the banks of a river or stream) areas in the central Edwards Plateau. It is an introduced, cool-season perennial.

This multi-stemmed shrub in the Buckthorn family can grow to 15 feet tall. Christ thorn can form dense, impenetrable thickets.

The plant has yellow fruit shaped like a hat, and paired thorns, one straight, one curved.

Christ thorn is not readily browsed by livestock or deer.


Christ thorn grows along riparian areas and low areas that receive extra moisture.