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Nodding Thistle July 11, 2010

Posted by Wapello Warbler in Nature, pictures, Wild Flowers.
Nodding Thistle in Bloom

All through June and on into the heat of summer, Nodding Thistles preside over our roadsides and other disturbed areas. They are commonly about 3 feet tall but can grow as high as 9 feet. When the light strikes them just right the large purple flowers become luminous, something I tried to capture one evening with my cell phone.

Visually, the buds and mature seeds are even more interesting. Don’t you agree?

Nodding Thistle Bud

Nodding Thistles (Carduus nutans) are also known as Musk Thistle or Bristle Thistle. Their seeds are popular with Goldfinches, our state bird. They are not native to North America and many states, including Iowa, list this very spiny plant as a noxious weed.

High definition copies of this last picture are available for your desktop. Click on the Wallpaper tab at the top of the page.



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