Apr. 24, 2018

field thistle, Cirsium discolor

Among the natives that return after the invaders are gone are thistles. It's too bad thistles are so successful at fending off danger. They're very much worth a close look. Each one of these purple-ended spikes is a flower. When fully open each will look like the ones around the outside of the image. Lowest is the corolla, inside that is the staminal tube, finally the long thin pistils extend themselves. No pollinator could possibly avoid its mission on the way to the nectar at the bases of the flowers. And you may have noticed that these flowers attract an awful lot of pollinators. Each one is an entomological Eden. Field thistles grow in AL, AR, CT, DE, GA, IA, IL, IN, Ky, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV, MB, ON, QC, and SK. Kitty Todd Preserve, Lucas Co OH, 9/2/13.