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Fun Facts about the Thistle

The Thistle has been Scotlands national emblem for many centuries and is one of the most well known symbols of Scotland. Often seen around both the highlands and the lowlands of Scotland, the prickly thistle has been used as a royal symbol of Scotland since the rule of James III in 1470 and is the oldest recorded 'National Flower'.

Today the Thistle can be seen on everything from jewellery, sporans, clothing and even soap and not to mention tattoos. Whilst most people are aware of the thistle, have you ever wondered just why is the thistle the emblem of Scotland? We have collected a bunch of Thistle facts so you can find out more about the Scottish thistle and exactly why it means what it does.

  • The Thistle is a national symbol of Scotland and is known for it's prickly touch. The thistle flower actually grows those spiny leaves to protect against being eaten by wildlife.
  • The thistle has gotten a bad reputation as a weed due to it's ability to reproduce across fields. Infact one musk thistle is capable of producing up to 120,000 seeds.
  • Edible thistles such as the bull thistle can be roasted and eaten. The seeds can also be used for producing oil and Native Americans used to chew on the petals like chewing gum.
  • Thistles bloom in a range of colours including yellow and white, however they are most commonly seen in shades of purple.
  • Many types of insects and butterflies are attracted to Thistles. These include bees and even Goldfinches who use them for building a nest
  • The thistle is oldest recorded 'National Flower' dating back to the 13th century when the Vikings tried to creep up on Scottish Clansmen, only to walk barefoot over thistles. This caused them to cry out alerting the Scottish army.
  • As it is a weed, it has a very stubborn root system and can be quite difficult to remove the entire plant roots from the ground. Even if you leave just a little bit of root the Thistle will grow back in force the next year.
  • Thistle can grow up to eight feet high and over four feet in width. Can you imagine trying to walk past one of them in your bare feet?

aberlour childrens charityHere at Clare Florist we have our Aberlour Children's Charity Bouquet which features Thistles amongst sunflowers, green 'shamrock' crysanthemums and statice.

An ideal gift for friends and family, for every sale of this bouquet we will donate 10% of the profits to the Aberlour Children's Charity.


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