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third person
04-22-2010, 03:58 AM
A while back, while browsing good' ol' Wikipedia, I came across an article about a plant that had metallic barbs on either its leaves or stem. Or maybe both. The point is I can't remember what that plant was. Anyone able to help? I think they're badass and I'd like to get more info on them. Shame on me for not bookmarking back then.

Captcha
04-22-2010, 05:45 AM
Several of the Eryngiums have a metallic sheen - they kind of look like spray-painted thistles.

hammerklavier
04-22-2010, 08:47 PM
You want badass? Look up the honey locust, I once had one of those thorns go entirely through my shoe and foot.

stephenf
04-22-2010, 09:36 PM
Metallic = resembles metal.In what way did barbs resemble metal,colour,hardness.Any other clues?Is there a reason you need to remember this plant? or will any plant do, that will fit a purpose?

third person
04-23-2010, 05:40 AM
Metallic = resembles metal.In what way did barbs resemble metal,colour,hardness.Any other clues?Is there a reason you need to remember this plant? or will any plant do, that will fit a purpose?

The barbs of the plant ARE metal. That's what I found so fascinating about it. Google doesn't help at all. UGHH.

Synonym
04-23-2010, 06:01 AM
Perhaps someone was messing with good old Wiki. I've never heard of plant-life supporting metal, much less growing it.

Puma
04-23-2010, 07:33 AM
I think something is incorrect somewhere. Plants do use and store some metals (some plants are even hyper metal accumulators), but plants do not sport barbs or thorns or parts made of metals. Could the article have said the plant had metallic barbs - meaning in appearance but written in a way to give an incorrect impression? Puma

stephenf
04-23-2010, 12:05 PM
The barbs of the plant ARE metal.
Arr yes,that is the wire plant,often found around army camps and cattle ranches.

third person
04-23-2010, 07:39 PM
Telling you guys, I've seen photos of the damned leaves of this thing. I was a photographer and graphic artist before I gave those passions up for writing, so I know a "shop" when I see one. The leaves were covered in tiny metallic barbs.

stephenf
04-23-2010, 09:54 PM
Well, I'm not a plant expert, but I do earn some of my money as a self employed gardener.So I can tell you, it's not a plant that is common in the gardens of southern England.Plants are interesting and some can be quite strange ,so I believe that a plant you describe may actual exist,but without a bit more information I can't guess what it is.

Captcha
04-24-2010, 02:33 AM
http://www.diggingdog.com/photos06/eryngium.jpg
?

(sorry if this doesn't work - I've never posted an image before)

CoLiamPet
04-24-2010, 04:30 AM
Globe thistle? Also known as Blue Metallic Thistle Flower??

CatSlave
04-24-2010, 04:44 AM
Blue metallic thistle flower (http://www.fiftyflowers.com/product/Blue-Metallic-Thistle-Flower_148.htm) ??

Captcha
04-24-2010, 05:06 AM
Yeah - metallic, we've got covered.

Metal...I don't think so.

ChristineR
04-24-2010, 05:18 AM
What about stinging nettles? Sometimes they are called "stinging metals."

Or how about silica? Apparently some nettles have large amounts of silica in their spines.

Paul
04-24-2010, 05:31 AM
Scottish lettuce...

CoLiamPet
04-24-2010, 05:37 AM
The thistles are referred to by a variety of names based on the species/coloring: Blue Glow Thistle; Blue Hobbit Thistle; Sea Holly Thistle; Globe Thistle... etc. Some folks refer to the Sea Holly as Blue Thistle Flowers. But I don't know that they contains any metals, that warrants more research...

GeorgeK
04-26-2010, 07:46 PM
My guess as stated above is that wiki was wrong. It tends to be unreliable in my experience other than as a very very general tool. There are some animals that will concentrate metals into a barb, most notably a few types of scorpions but I've never heard of a plant that did it. If you find one (other than on wiki), please post it.

Shakesbear
04-26-2010, 07:53 PM
third person can't you look up the wiki page in the History bit of your puter?

Cathy C
04-26-2010, 08:32 PM
Could you perhaps be thinking of mesquite (http://www.mesquiteburl.com/properties-of-mesquite.aspx)? It has a Janka hardness rating of 2345, making it one of the hardest woods on Earth. It's frequently referred to as "Texas ironwood" because the spines are hard as metal (but not actually metallic.) It'll go right through shoe soles, steel-belted radial tires and even bone and hooves. They're all over my property. Would be happy to send you a dozen or so to experiment with. LOL!

blacbird
04-26-2010, 11:09 PM
I think something is incorrect somewhere. Plants do use and store some metals

Not quite. Some plants concentrate certain compounds of metals, but I don't know of any that actually contain or produce the actual elemental metal. Humans use a lot of metal compounds (notably iron-rich hemoglobin) in bodily processes. We need trace amounts of certain things like zinc, etc., but you don't get those through eating the metal itself. For any element to become available for metabolic processing it needs to be in a water-soluble form. This virtually always happens in the form of a metal salt compound.

caw