I am learning chinese word: 荆棘. The pronunciation and meaning as per Chinese Dictionary are
“荆棘 jīngjí thistles and thorns
I tried to find the meaning of “thistles and thorns”. Google search fetched the encyclopedia.com link, which seems the most suitable. It contains the following information
Thistles and Thorns: Israel, being a Mediterranean and partly a desert country, is rich in prickly plants, which in various locations dominate the landscape. The thorns protect the plant from damage through grazing and in many cases prevent it from drying up, because the prickly leaves or branches limit the surface of the plant and diminish the amount of evaporation. Thorns are found on trees, shrubs, and perennial and annual plants.........
Complete link for your reference: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/thistles-and-thorns
Does "thistles and thorns" mean a plant name? Can “thistles and thorns” be used to mean anything else as well?