", "Breeding Objectives and Selection Criteria for Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn.) Some thistles (for example Cirsium vulgare, native to Eurasia), have been widely introduced outside their native range. Learning more about nyjer seed will help birders realize just how important this type of birdseed is for their backyard buffet. The word thistle most often refers to prickly leaved species of Carduus and Cirsium, which have dense heads of small, usually pink or purple flowers. However, there’s a lot more to the thistle spirit than representing a beautiful country. Thickets of thistle crowd out forage grasses in pastures and rangelands, reducing crop yields and productivity. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. People mainly use the supplement to treat liver conditions. Canadian thistle (Cirsium arvense) is a troublesome weed in agricultural areas of North America, and more than 10 species of sow thistle (Sonchus) are widespread throughout Europe. Reverse of 1967 florin: thistles, shamrocks, leeks, & rose. Milk thistle is a plant also known as Artichaut Sauvage, Cardo Lechoso, Cardui Mariae, Carduus marianus, Chardon Argenté, Chardon de Marie, Épine Blanche, Holy Thistle, Lady's Thistle, Lait de Notre-Dame, Legalon, Marian Thistle, Mariendistel, Mary Thistle, Shui Fei Ji, Silibinin, Silybe de Marie, Silybum, Silymarin, and other names. These prickles are an adaptation that protects the plant from being eaten by herbivores. The term thistle is sometimes taken to mean precisely those plants in the tribe Cardueae (synonym: Cynareae), especially the genera Carduus, Cirsium, and Onopordum. Both the Order of the Thistle and the Scots Guards use the motto Nemo me impune lacessit, the motto of the House of Stuart and referring to the thistle's prickly nature. Thistle is the common name of a group of flowering plants characterised by leaves with sharp prickles on the margins, mostly in the family Asteraceae. A thistle by any other name never smelled this sweet. Some sources suggest the specific occasion was the 1263 Battle of Largs, which marked the beginning of the departure of King Haakon IV (Haakon the Elder) of Norway who, having control of the Northern Isles and Hebrides, had harried the coast of the Kingdom of Scotland for some years.. Additionally, hummingbirds will feed on the flowers of the biennial species (which feature large flowers, as compared with the perennial Canada thistle). English Language Learners Definition of thistledown : the light parts of thistle flowers that contain the seeds and that blow away in the wind See the full definition for thistledown in the English Language … It is often considered a weed because it has so many thorns. If thistle has already snuck its way into your lawn, spray it before the roots are well established.  However, plants outside this tribe are sometimes called thistles, and when this is done, "thistles" would form a polyphyletic group. , Maud Grieve recorded that Pliny and medieval writers had thought it could return hair to bald heads and that in the early modern period it had been believed to be a remedy for headaches, plague, canker sores, vertigo, and jaundice. This is believed to be the origin of name of the Burgundy village of Chardonnay, Saône-et-Loire, which in turn is thought to be the home of the famous Chardonnay grape variety. Typically, an involucre with a clasping shape similar to a cup or urn subtends each of a thistle's flowerheads. Before the French Revolution, a large part of the region formed the Duchy of Lorraine. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox.