Friday, August 19, 2016

Fatal Attraction

This Summer, I've been fascinated by a thistle growing by my front porch - it's absolutely beautiful, but covered with so many needle-like thorns, it would fairly make a hedgehog jealous:

wild thistle

Thistles are edible, related to artichokes and cardoons, and have that same pleasing globe shape. The purple flowers are stunning, and have even attracted the local hummingbirds (not that I could get a shot of them):

But those thorns! Thistles have long been the emblem of Scotland, causing their enemy to cry out in pain, thus revealing their presence. I certainly would not want to tangle with them. Once the bloom fades, however, the resulting thistledown looks more like a shaggy dog's coat than anything else - talk about a bad hair day!

Eventually, I'm sure I will have to cut it down, and hope the majority of its seeds don't self-sow my home into a prickly fortress. But in the meantime, I get to enjoy its regal beauty, as its buds continue to bloom and attract pollinators of all kinds:

Anything lovely but dangerous growing in your yard, something that falls into the "look but don't touch" category?



  1. We have a beautiful vine growing over our fence from the neighbor's yard. It's tendrils bear purple flowers which give way to red berries. After I looked this pretty plant up, I found out it is Deadly Nightshade! :-O

    1. Oooooh - don't touch and DEFINITELY don't eat! It sounds lovely and elegant nonetheless. What a wonderful share, thank you!


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