Teasels and Thistles

Upon the grazing area of Credenhill Park Wood stands this lonely teasel, towering above the grasses. Don’t tease us I hear you cry, what is a teasel?

photo of teaselWell it is a tall flowering plant. The flowers are purple giving way to a seed head encircled by spiny bracts. These seeds are a favourite of goldfinches.

Dried teasel heads were used in the textile industry for raising the nap on fabrics, until they were replaced by metal cards in the twentieth century.

Old folklore has it that the rainwater that collects at the base of the leaves was considered to be a good remedy for sore eyes. Herbalists claim that teasel root can alleviate some of the symptoms of Lyme Disease. However, if you think you may have been sucked on by a tick and are feeling unwell – see a doctor!

If you look closely at the right hand side of the photo you will see a rather fine spiders web.

Meanwhile, the humble thistle; a Celtic photo of thistlesymbol of nobility provides a dash of bright colour to the autumn landscape.

It has been the national emblem of Scotland since the thirteenth century. Apparently a barefoot Norseman sneaking up on the Scottish army trod on a thistle; his shrieks of pain alerting the Scots to the invader’s presence.

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4 thoughts on “Teasels and Thistles

  1. Love the way teasel flowers develop, flowering from the middle to the top and bottom, almost like a planetary ring from a sci-fi series.
    Fierce spines on the ribs of the leaves!
    … and very rare to see just a single plant

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