The Needlethorn plant is a succulent bush with hollow, toxic brown spines.

  • Growth form: several cactus-like 'stalks' from a single base of broadleaf (the Dragonlover's Guide to Pern shows 3 stalks, 3 leaves). The skin of the plant has fine hairs that can cause irritation and possible inflammation of the skin it comes in contact with.
  • Known location: Ging trees always open when ready to harvest at Ista, Nerat, Paradise Stake
  • Uses: needles used as syringe for injections and to draw blood. Needlethorns are also used for transfusions.
  • Misc.: Needlethorn is omnivorous and shoots its thorns at anything that disturbs it during its growing season. It falls into a dormant stage when the flowers of the ging tree open. These plants are always found together. The spines are poisonous through spring and summer. The vine grows during the winter and has to shed its old corona or leave too many unprotected gaps. During the spring and summer the bush has an odor to attract snakes and insects. The hollow spines suck essential juices from the creature the plant impales, and also rainwater.


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