Bed of Nails

carmellia(z 4 Minn)June 7, 2005

I have just received a plant labeled "Bed of Nails" at a plant swap. I've tried to find out something - anything - about this plant and have come up dry. It looks like something that might be useful for anyone who has a problem with deer.

What I have is a seedling, only 2" high. It has five leaves on it so far and they are each about 2" long and 1" wide, roughly shaped like a poinsettia leaf. The center vein running down each leaf has thumbtack-like projections coming out all the way down the vein, both front and back. the stem also has these thorny projections coming out. All in all, the thing looks like a meat eater to me.

I hesitate to plant it in the ground and encourage it until I know that I am not going to end up with some vicious plant that is too thorny to pull out and dispose of once it gets some size on it. Has anyone ever seen a plant like this or heard of "Bed of Nails"? Carmellia

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fionasol(z5 Indianapolis)

Google is a wonderful thing! Is this it?

Here is a link that might be useful: bed of nails

    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 3:53PM
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carmellia(z 4 Minn)

Thanks a bunch for the plant identification. It's a big hummer, isn't it? I suppose it will not get as big here in Minnesota's shorter growing season. I will give it a place at the very back of the garden and then save seeds from it if I like the way it grows. It certainly will be a conversation piece! Carmellia

    Bookmark   June 8, 2005 at 11:59AM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

The fruits are deliciousÂin Central America they are known as naranjilla. I've overwintered one in a container for the past couple of years, though at the moment it's looking a little, um, stressed. I never knew it was called "bed of nails!"

    Bookmark   July 11, 2005 at 7:44PM
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sandy0225(z5 Indiana)

Just came across this old posting when I was doing an internet search for bed of nails plant. The bed of nails plant really is a naranjilla, but it is a totally different one. I would say it's a subspecies.
The ones I'm growing out are more spiny than any naranjilla I've ever been able to obtain, larger spines and more of them. The fruit on these are much smaller than the typical naranjilla, which I have grown out before, and not as juicy and more seedy, less flavorful. Not really good to eat like lulo or naranjilla.
My plant got to be about 4 feet tall and about the same width in a single summer, and you sure don't want to run into it! I'm currently overwintering it in the greenhouse and it's right inside the door, not exactly a friendly welcome to the greenhouse, but it does get your attention.
It was kind of difficult to put in there, we broke off a little bit of it moving it with the hand truck, but there was no good way to get a grip on it. Link to picture of my plant below.

Here is a link that might be useful: bed of nails plant

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 8:41AM
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I have seen those at zoos and other places with unusual plants. They have gotten quite big by the time I have seen them.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2014 at 10:08PM
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