LOVE the native thistles. I have purchased some beautiful western thistle seeds to plant in Gopher Valley as ornamentals and nectar plants . Wa-hoo! I hope they germinate and grow well.
Swallowtail butterfly on western thistle (Cirsium occidentale) Photo: Marvin Keller
Despite their beauty and value for pollinators and birds, native thistle species have long been undervalued. I often hear people make condescending remarks about thistles when I table at events. Someone may see that I have native thistle seeds for sale and make a comment along the lines of: “Thistles are horrible, why would you want to plant those?” What they don’t realize, however, is that native thistles play a critical role in native ecosystems. Native thistles get a bad rap simply because of people’s association with their weedy, invasive relatives like bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare) and Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense).
Swallowtail butterfly nectaring on a non-native, invasive bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare)
Bull thistle was introduced into Oregon in the late 1800s, and it now occurs in every county in the state. Canada thistle has been around for about the…
View original post 799 more words