Prickleberry Shrub

The Prickleberry is a shrub left by the Ancients. It usually grows to about eight feet tall, but some shrubs have been seen climbing as high as twelve feet making it the tallest "native" (post-Ancients, pre-settlers) plant on Belizo. The Prickleberry gets its name from its fruit which is usually between one and two inches in diameter, and covered with a yellow or tan colored hair. The hair is similar to what you find on a peach, but thicker. Untrue to its name the fruit is not prickly at all, but in fact is very soft.

Prickleberry plants tend to bunch together making groves which are frequently thick, and sometimes difficult to pass. On the larger plants the base trunks can grow to be about an inch in diameter. There are usually several such trunks coming out of a common root point. In this way they're kind of like Lilac bushes. A full sized ATV can usually power through the thicker groves, but they're usually too thick to allow the passage of ground car without some clearing. The Prickleberry grows mostly in the "forested" areas of Belizo. The green areas on the surface maps of Belizo are actually forests of Prickleberry shrubs, and a few other tall growing grasses and shrubs dating from before the Ancients. Prickleberry's can be found outside the forests in clumps here and there in the grasslands and savanna's usually not too far from a river or stream.

The Prickleberry fruit is edible to humans, and does provide nutrition, but the fruit is not very good tasting, usually having a very bitter taste. Additionally the hairs are difficult to peel off, and have a distinctly unpleasant texture if eaten (kind of like eating animal fur). The Belizo insects all eat Prickleberry leaves. Outbackers will eat Prickleberries if they're desperate. The trunks can be used for light weight construction. Outbackers will frequently use them to make small huts. The trunks are also used to make paper, and composit board.