I discovered thistles growing in the fields of Wyoming and Montana. These plants are covered with prickly leaves and stems which protect them from herbivores, but thistles are still valuable to animal life. Pollinators extract nectar from their flowers, and birds eat the seeds and use the down for nests. I’ve always thought thistles were enticing, but ranchers and farmers think of them as troublesome weeds that are difficult to remove because of their prickles and stubborn root system.
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Thistles are the national symbol of Scotland. They are considered noble flowers. Click here to watch full screen.