Thornrow grows best in the arid coastal regions of Westcape, though some farmers have tried establishing the plant on New Jamaica and Prime Meridian. The shrub requires bright sunlight and its roots are susceptible to fast fungus (MG 168) infection when growing in excessively damp soil. The species' extensive root system evolved for dry, sandy substrates and grows deep to tap desert water tables. In fact, Westcape ranchers find the plant a reliable means of locating productive well sites. When growing wild, the plant can make terrain impassible, and it is virtually impossible to clear without using fire or low-grade explosives.
Despite its troublesome natural form, thornrow has become a valuable sort of living construction material useful in making livestock fences and barriers. If properly pruned the plant can be coaxed to form corrals and hedgerows that are proof against any indigenous life larger than a chub (see page 71). Collecting and then replanting the shrub is difficult work and a thornrow fence takes several years to grow to functional size, but in Westcape at least, the result is worth the effort. The fence is durable, self-repairing, and a uniquely effective deterrent to predators. In Perdition (MG 116), some thornrow fences have been in use for more than 65 years.
Reports have filtered out of Westcape claiming that the local native resistance is using thornrow thickets to its tactical advantage. By cutting well-cam-ouflaged tunnels into the hearts of these tangled bushes, many wild thornrow groves have supposedly been turned into secret weapon caches and hideouts.
Weight Frequency Resource Value
Threat Level Attacks
Westcape region of the
Arid sandy soils
Up to four meters tall and in thickets over 50 meters in diameter
Up to 80 kilograms per plant Common
Native ranchers have long been using the plant as a natural form of fencing to protect livestock from indigenous predators Low
Accidental impact 1
WEEDEATER (Aqua bovis)
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