When you say Thistle to most gardeners, they give you the look that says oh my God, not in my garden. Not only is Thistle invasive, it is prickly & can be hard to get rid of sometimes.
Last year I noticed that I had a patch of Thistle that I fought to death to get rid of & finally in August I won the fight, or so I thought.
I realized I lost the fight when I went to canvas on of my gardens in late April and say some Thistle that was 2 feet tall. I immediately grabbed my shovel & weeding tool to get rid of it & during the process I pricked myself countless times & I even drew a little blood (I HATE THISTLE). So far I have a few that came back so I know I will have a busy summer trying to get rid of them.
For a while I wondered why I had so many Thistle plants, then one day it dawned on me that I had so many because of the Goldfinches. You see, the Goldfinch thrives on Thistle seed & last summer I purchased a gallon of Thistle seed that was not neutralized meaning that each dropped seed would more than likely sprout a plant (I should not have been cheap & paid the 3 dollars to get the good stuff).
While Thistle is a pain in the ass & pretty ugly, not many can deny that Thistle flowers are very beautiful. Shit, after surfing for info on Thistle I found that Cotton Thistle (very pretty) is the national flower of Scotland.
Anyway, 2 weeks ago I noticed that there was a Musk Thistle plant growing near my office building & at that point it was at least 3 feet high. I was wondering when the landscaping company was going to get rid of that mutha fucka & its prickly friends because the shit looked awful.
Well it 2 weeks later & that same Thistle is 6 feet tall & growing out of fucking control. Yesterday I noticed that it actually bloomed & had many more flower heads read to burst into action. So today I decided to take a few snapshots because of this beautiful but Martian looking flower.
It so funny how such a noxious garden pest can produce such a spectacular flower. It’s kinda like when 2 ugly people get together & produce a pretty baby.
In about a day or so the bloom will be full & bright so I hope to get a shot of that as well because I know you care & really wanna see.
Thistle is the old English name – essentially the same in all kindred languages – for a large family of plants occurring chiefly in Europe and Asia, of which we have fourteen species in Great Britain, arranged under the botanical groups Carduus, Carlina, Onopordon and Carbenia, or Cnicus. (Source)
A native of western Europe, musk thistle was introduced into the eastern United States in the early 1800s and has a long history as a rangeland pest in the U.S. It was first discovered in Davidson County, Tennessee in 1942 and has been declared a noxious weed in many states. (Source)