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Description of this photo

Thistles are flowering plants that have sharp prickles along the margins of their leaves and flowers. These plants generally belong to the Asteraceae family. Different types of thistles can be found in the wild and most of them have red or purple colored flowers. Thistles usually have prickles on almost all the parts. These thorns help the plant in protecting itself from a wide range of herbivorous animals. These plants are native to Europe but they have spread to different parts of the world and in some parts they are viewed as weeds. Some thistles are considered as harmful plants and their growth and spread is controlled with the help of herbicides. However, there are several species of thistles that are considered safe and harmless. Some of the popular varieties are bull thistle, Canada thistle, cut leaf teasel, musk thistle, scotch thistle, spiny sow thistle and tall thistle. Musk thistle has smooth leaves and purple flowers and their stalks have nodes. Matured flowers are 2 inches in width. Scotch thistle has hairy leaves that appear cottony and grayish in color. It also has reddish-purple flowers that have broad stems. Canada thistles have spiny leaves. These spines grow along the leaf margins. The plant has small flowers that are pinkish-purple in color and they grow in clusters. Although thistle plants cannot be approached by animals their flowers often attract different types of butterflies. Thistle flowers contain lots of nectar and bees and butterflies consider them as their favorite source of nectar. Thistle has been considered as a noble plant by certain ancient civilizations. In Scotland, thistle is a part of their national emblem. During the 1470s silver coins having a symbol of thistle were issued under the rule of James III. The heraldic badge of Scotland has a symbol of thistle plant with a crown over its flower.

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Camera equipment used for capturing this photography

Camera: Olympus E-500

Lens: Zuiko Digital 40-150mm/3.5-4.5

Lens hood: LH-61D

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