Rose thorns are actually prickles - outgrowths of the epidermis.

Roses

Roses Have "Prickles"

A rose is a perennial flower, shrub or vine of the genus Rosa, within the family Rosaceae, that contains more than 100 species and comes in a variety of colors. The species form a group of erect shrubs, and climbing or trailing plants, with stems that are often armed with sharp prickles.

Roses are best known for their flowers. Roses are popular garden shrubs, as flowering shrubs. They are also grown as cut flowers, as one of the most popular and commonly sold florists' flowers.

A few roses are grown for scented foliage.

While the sharp objects along a rose stem are commonly called "thorns," they are actually "prickles"— outgrowths of the epidermis (the outer layer of tissue of the stem).  Rose prickles are typically sickle-shaped hooks, which aid the rose in hanging onto other vegetation when growing over it.

Despite the presence of prickles, roses are frequently browsed by deer. A few species of roses only have vestigial prickles that have no points.

 

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