Devil's Thorn

© Shem Compion
Devils Thorn.

Name

Devil Thorn or Boot Protectors (Dicerocaryum senecioides)

Description of Devil Thorn

The devil thorn is a small annual creeper with long hairy stems. A common plant bearing small claw-shaped thorns and purple flowers, it flowers in the South African summer from December to April.

Fruit/Seed

The seeds are held inside the oblong to round fruit which has two hard spines - up to 5mm in length. The fruit sticks into hooves and feet of animals and are dispersed this way.

Habitat of Devil Thorn

The plant is found in poor soil and sandy areas in Southern Africa including South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe and as far north as Malawi.