She and her mate have become even larger thorns in my side.
Aridity has favoured the production of spines as a defence from external attack, sharp thorns are frequent, and asperities of various sorts predominate.
Hooks, thorns and prickles are characteristic of many South African plants.
In tropical countries ants sometimes make their nests in the hollow thorns of trees or on leaves; species with this habit are believed to make a return to the tree for the shelter that it affords by protecting it from the ravages of other insects, including their own leaf-cutting relations.
Lord Stanley was the prime favourite as an occupant of this bed of thorns, and it has been said that he was actually offered the crown.