Friday, January 15, 2010

Not my favourite Scotch

Scotch Thistles. How my father hated them. They can be quite pretty when in flower though.

They are also known as Spear Thistle, Heraldic Thistle, Cotton Thistle or correctly, Onopordum acanthium Yeah, I pasted that.

Scotch Thistle is a nasty plant with very sharp needles and it can take over a field very quickly as they have this front garden of an empty house. God was not so dumb though. She invented chemical sprays too, and spray them my father did until they were all gone, only ever appearing when the seed from a neighbours plant blew in.


  1. Horses LOVE to eat the purple flowers - they'll bare their teeth, pull their lips back and delicately pluck the 'ripe' flower from the pod and consume. Must be sweet or something. They'll avoid the plant as a whole, will only seek out the flowers!
    (from a horse and farm owner!)

  2. I grew up in an area with loads of them in hte paddocks. I used to have to pull them out of my horse's maine :(

  3. Did not know that IAS. Goats quite like them too, I read.

    Yep Cazzie. I also heard they don't do much for a wool clip either.

  4. They are related to the uber-yummy artichoke nom nom nom :P

  5. They are edible to people & quite good... I would consider them a good addition to the garden... bees & butterflys love thistle.

  6. A while back I was with a friend In Qld who was buying flowers for someone. The centrepiece was a huge thistle and although looked great, I couldn't help but mention they were considered weeds in my homeland! They can be very pretty though and adorn many things at home including the one pound coins in Scotland.

  7. Jayne, are artichoke any more palatable than chokos?

    Stephen, maybe your weather keeps them in check, but they are a noxious weed here. So forget the marigold flowers and go for thistle flowers.

    Time Boy, yeah, I can see they could be good for arrangements. Scotland's national floral emblem aren't they?

  8. Artichokes were the favourite thing to eat where I grew up. Providing the Maltese family, "The Azzopardi's" had cooked them. They would stuff them with mince and garlic and herbs and onion. Not sure how else they cooked them. Maybe they baked them under some foil on low in the combustion stove they had there. Not sure.

  9. Anything to give them some taste Cazzie?

  10. Actually the ones in your photo are Spear thistle (Cirsium vulgare) not Scotch thistle (Onopordum acanthium).

    1. Really Grey Gum? Another pest species?


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