Shrubs with Dissected or Maple-Like Leaves and Thorny Stems )
Ginseng Family (Araliaceae)
Habitat: Western Slope Montane
Height: Up to 3.6 m
Description: You'll know when you encounter Devil's club. Its stem is covered with 1 cm long, razor sharp spines. The leaves are large, 20-40 cm across, and appear almost maple-like. They alternately arranged leaves are dark green above, and lighter below, with at least 5 main lobes. The main veins on the leaves are also armed with spines. Even the leaf stalk is armed. The greenish-white flowers grow in a dense spike at the end of a spiny branch. They are later replaced by a cluster of bright, red berries. Contrary to other sources, the needles do not contain any poison. They are merely very sharp, and can cause a significant wound.
This plant single-handedly caused rerouting of some stretches of the C.P.R. through parts of B.C. when workers simply could not make it through patches of this spiny resident.
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