This is probably the so-called “apple of Sodom,” which grows very abundantly in the Jordan valley. “It is a shrubby plant, from 3 to 5 feet high, with very branching stems, thickly clad with spines, like those of the English brier, with leaves very large and woolly on the under side, and thorny on the midriff.”
Hebrew: kotz (Genesis 3:18; Hos. 10:8), rendered akantha by the Septuagint In the New Testament this word akantha is also rendered “thorns” (Matthew 7:16; 13:7; Hebrews 6:8). The word seems to denote any thorny or prickly plant (Jeremiah 12:13). It has been identified with the Ononis spinosa by some.
Hebrew: na'atzutz (Isaiah 7:19; 55:13). This word has been interpreted as denoting the Zizyphus spina Christi, or the jujube-tree. It is supposed by some that the crown of thorns placed in wanton cruelty by the Roman soldiers on our Savior’s brow before his crucifixion was plaited of branches of this tree. It overruns a great part of the Jordan valley. It is sometimes called the lotus-tree. “The thorns are long and sharp and recurved, and often create a festering wound.” It often grows to a great size. (See Crown of Thorns)
Hebrew: atad (Psalm 58:9) is rendered in the Septuagint and Vulgate by Rhamnus, or Lycium Europoeum, a thorny shrub, which is common all over Israel. Due to its resemblance to the box, it is frequently called the box-thorn.