Pretty in Pink But Thorny as Thistle

Pretty in Pink by Jann Alexander ©2014

Pretty in Pink by Jann Alexander ©2014

Ahhhh spring blooms. So lovely, so many masquerading as weeds. If the tenacious, thorny Texas thistle didn’t beguile us with its huge pink pom-pom of a flower, would we ever tolerate its presence? Thistles are now blooming in unsuspecting central Texas yards and fields, causing gape-mouthed cries from those who didn’t think nature could present such a neon pink color among its cloak of many colors. Well yes she can, and does, at this time of year in Austin and the surrounding countryside. And yes, we detest thistle. But before we do, we surely do love its hot pink blooms.

Outer Space Flower by Jann Alexander © 2014

Outer Space Flower ©2014

Reasons to leave thistle be:

  • Bumblebees love it
  • Painted-lady butterfly larvae feed on it
  • Goldfinches line their nests with it
  • Before it blooms, it looks like it came from outer space

Not convinced? Thistle can be persuasive: it will stick you, prick you and stab you, just to make its point. 

Got a favorite weed masquerading as a flower? Do tell.

To learn more about Texas thistles (AKA Cirsium texanum Buckley), Ask Mr. Smarty Pants.

 

About to Burst by Jann Alexander ©2014-

About to Burst by Jann Alexander ©2014

 

5 replies

  1. Lovely photos. They do, indeed, look like something from outer space when they bloom! Texas seems to have a number of unique flowers. I know Blue Bonnets are unique to Texas – I wonder if there are more. (Must ask Smarty Pants!)

    Liked by 1 person

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