I drove into the parking lot and steered right into a spot facing the highway. I say for a minute touching up my make up. Okay I’m kinda, at heart, a girly girl ok? But as I was getting out I saw a lone purple thistle and said out loud “when I get back I’m going to take some photos of this. It’s perfect and sunny”
After I’d acquired my items and paid I came back to the car, put them in and strode over to the thistle. It was gorgeous and had all three stages before it’s seeds fly away free in the wind. The beautiful purple top on one stem. On another there was a vibrant fuscha, purple flower looking moment post fertilization with a hidden middle of seeds beginning to come forth. Then the last bit was a puff of tightly budded seeds with had some dried and others still white. The stem itself was all thorny and green.
Lovely. It was singularly lovely and the lone thistle in a sea of other herbs and so called weeds. Known as a ‘Blessed Thistle’ or Milk Thistle all parts are edible according to the Smithsonian Handbook on Herbs with color photos. The purple flower has a mild scent which is unique.
Always when I see these I’m brought back to the time of reading to my children. Our very small town library had a large children’s section and the favorite book had “Thistle Soldiers” as a set of characters in the wild. I always think about this when I see a group of them. Somehow my children don’t seem to remember this book in spite of it being checked out over and over because it was so beloved for Momma to read a loud at night or story time reading.
This makes sense as the extract from this herb can be used to counteract death’s head mushrooms and can be used to reverse all kinds of other damage to the liver from various things. It is a soldier who fights against the enemy of damaged cells in the body.
I took some photos and at home zoomed in to see so much more on each photo I’d taken. The thorny spines on the leaves and stems will get you for sure. Yet they are haunting photos in their beauty.
The ‘Purple Thistle Soldier’. It is truly a blessed thistle to find in the wild or even right near a parking lot.