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Monday, July 19, 2010

Macro Monday: Spear Thistle, Cirsium vulgare.

Spear Thistle, Cirsium vulgare.

This Thistle growsfrom under my front garden wall. On the path, so to speak. I had been waiting for it to open up. What doesn't show here is that the pollen made the flower sparkle and the white sticky pollen looked like metallic tips to the shiny purple ends. The Sun intensified this even more.

This is how the same flower looks now, 2 days later. All pollen has gone. And the heart has closed.
It was not easy taking this picture; the flowerhead had turned itself sideways instead of upwards and leaving me less room to take a photo.

Last week I went out for a ride along my patch, after about 12-14 days of rain or showers. In my own garden the Nettles at the back and in front of the shed, had been flattened mostly. These Thistles had suffered from the long and heavy rainfall too.

The most amazing thing with Thistles is that they will not give up, whatever happens. The prickly flowerheads have an ability to twist their poition and way they catch the light. They would have hit the ground; yet they refuse to die. Instead the Thistle turns the entire flowerhead, and in this case, all 3, around from facing the ground to facing upright into the direction of the light.

It would be a nice sight of seeing the flowers in bloom, whilst lying on the ground. I'll keep an eye on them.

The Thistle at my house too, had to endure a fair few showers. The flowers had been facing up, towards the sky. i remember as I had to elevate my wheels in order to take the photo below, so that I could look down at it. In order to protect its flower, it too, moved sideways, so that the rain would not drench the heart of the flower, where the seeds will be produced.


  1. What vivid all those stunning details!

  2. Love the thistle...great shot!

  3. Great series on the thistle. I especially liked the individual pollen grains.

  4. Hi Tammy and Tanya. Welcome to Wildlife on Wheels. And thank you for leaving these lovely comments too.

  5. Thistle makes for beautiful photos but boy they hurt when you step on them barefoot, lol. Wish the sparkles would show up too. :)

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  7. Hi, Michael, I am still discovering my lens's abilities (and mine) so the pollen was a total surprise to me too!

    Lisa, I know how they hurt, I forgot to post photos of the rest of the plant. Those thorns are massive!


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