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Re: aralia spinosa

Harry, I have seen the variegated aralia spinosa out in the pacific 
Northwest. It is a little more tender and slow growing, but exquisite.

The one characteristic I should repeat: strong thorny spines that do NOT 
easily break off.  I heard my grandfather say that in Europe they would cut 
off a 3-4 ft section 2-3 inches in diameter, shave or shear off the thorny 
needles except for the top 4-6 inches and polish the end. The older men would 
use this a way of defending themselves from kids and dogs - one bite from the 
stick and you weren't in any mood to fight further. I fixed one such club a 
couple of years ago - very wicked looking.

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