Cirsium lanceolatum [now Cirsium vulgare] - Common Thistle
The common thistle is native to most of Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa. It’s considered an invasive weed in the United States and Australia, and a “noxious weed” in 9 of the states, meaning there are penalties for intentionally planting it, and active programs to remove what plants they can.
Since the thistle can easily grow in overgrazed fields and bare disturbed ground (such as recently-tilled fields), and is unpalatable to animals, its presence in an area is a bane to local farmers. However, thistle flowers are a favorite of honeybees, and the honey produced is of high quality, even if it’s not the same level as white clover flowers. They’re also a food source for butterflies, goldfinches, linnets, and greenfinches, on both sides of the Atlantic.
Field Book of American Wild Flowers. F. Schuyler Mathews, 1905.

Cirsium lanceolatum [now Cirsium vulgare] - Common Thistle

The common thistle is native to most of Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa. It’s considered an invasive weed in the United States and Australia, and a “noxious weed” in 9 of the states, meaning there are penalties for intentionally planting it, and active programs to remove what plants they can.

Since the thistle can easily grow in overgrazed fields and bare disturbed ground (such as recently-tilled fields), and is unpalatable to animals, its presence in an area is a bane to local farmers. However, thistle flowers are a favorite of honeybees, and the honey produced is of high quality, even if it’s not the same level as white clover flowers. They’re also a food source for butterflies, goldfinches, linnets, and greenfinches, on both sides of the Atlantic.

Field Book of American Wild Flowers. F. Schuyler Mathews, 1905.

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