A recent article in the Herald viciously attacked the thistle, calling it noxious, invasive and a weed!
The thistle is Scotland’s national flower and for good reason. Invasive? Hardly! Legend has it the thistle aided the Scots in repelling an invasion of Norsemen who removed their footwear to maintain a sneaky silence at the battle of Largs in 1263. One barefooted Norseman stepped on a thistle, cried out in pain and awakened the sleeping Scots, who, of course, won the day. The thistle is a Scottish hero.
Noxious? Unpleasant? Just consider its lavender-and-purple beauty. A Weed? Ha! Besides, weed in Colorado these days is legal, accepted and highly profitable. Thistles are food sources for bees (who have been hit hard themselves), butterflies and other pollinators as well as insects and some songbirds.
As for humans, milk thistle is good for your liver, aids in treating diabetics, lowers cholesterol, promotes weight loss, boosts immune systems and supports bone health.
Now, I realize thistles can perhaps become a problem for grazing cattle. Just put a goat in with the herd. Goats will eat anything. America, let us rise up and fulfill our creed. We are a nation of immigrants. Let us provide sanctuary for thistles.