thistle

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Thistle

Thistle is the common name given to some plants in several genera of the Cynareae tribe, family Asteraceae. These genera include Cirsium, Carduus, Echinops, Onopordum, Silybum, Centaurea, and Cnicus. The name

thistle most often refers to the weedy, prickly plants belonging to the genera Cirsium and Carduus. Thistles are composite flowers, which means their flower is actually a group of small flowers that give the appearance of one, larger flower. The flowers, which are of the disc type, are surrounded by bracts. Many people group Carduus and Cirsium together, but a closer look at these two genera would reveal a distinct difference. While both genera have hairs or bristles mixed with the flowers and a hairy pappus, the hairs on Cirsium species are plumose (they are featherythe hairs have branch hairs) and the Carduus hairs are not.

The most notable characteristic of thistles are the prickly stems, leaves, and the bracts around the flower head. Among the thistle genera, there are various leaf shapes and colors. The flowers are most often purple, but some species have pink, white, or yellow flowers. Thistles can be found in temperate regions, can grow in many climates and soils, and their height can range from 1 foot (0.3 m) to 12 ft (3.5 m). Some well known Cirsium thistles are C. vulgare or bull thistle, C. arvense or Canada thistle, and C. eriophorum or woolly thistle. C. nutans or nodding thistle is the best known of the Carduus species. Globe thistles of the Echinops genus are often grown for ornamental purposes. Onopordum acanthium or Scottish thistle is well known for its large purple flower. Silybum marianum or milk thistle, Centaurea calcitrapa or star thistle, and Cnicus benedictus or holy thistle, have been used and cultivated for medicinal purposes.

Cynara scolymus or globe artichoke is closely related to thistle. What is eaten of the artichoke that shows up on our dinner plate is the unopened flower head and bracts of the plant. Some plants such as sow thistle (genus Sonchus of the Chicory tribe-Lactuceaea) and Russian thistle (Salsola kali of the Goosefoot family), are called thistle because of their prickliness but are not true thistles.

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Thistle

Thistle is the common name given to some plants in several genera of the Cynareae tribe, family Asteraceae. These genera include Cirsium, Carduus, Echinops, Onopordum, Silybum, Centaurea, and Cnicus. The name thistle most often refers to the weedy, prickly plants belonging to the genera Cirsium and Carduus. Thistles are composite flowers, which means their flower is actually a group of small flowers that give the appearance of one, larger flower. The flowers, which are of the disc type, are surrounded by bracts. Many people group Carduus and Cirsium together, but a closer look at these two genera would reveal a distinct difference. While both genera have hairs or bristles mixed with the flowers and a hairy pappus, the hairs on Cirsiumspecies are plumose (they are feathery—the hairs have branch hairs) and the Carduus hairs are not.

The most notable characteristic of thistles are the prickly stems, leaves, and the bracts around the flower head. Among the thistle genera, there are various leaf shapes and colors. The flowers are most often purple, but some species have pink, white, or yellow flowers. Thistles can be found in temperate regions, can grow in many climates and soils, and their height can range from 1 foot (0.3 m) to 12 ft (3.5 m). Some well known Cirsium thistles are C. vulgare or bull thistle, C . arvense or Canada thistle, and C. eriophorum or woolly thistle. C. nutans or nodding thistle is the best known of the Carduus species. Globe thistles of the Echinops genus are often grown for ornamental purposes. Onopordum acanthium or Scottish thistle is well known for its large purple flower. Silybum marianum or milk thistle, Centaurea calcitrapa or star thistle, and Cnicus benedictus or holy thistle, have been used and cultivated for medicinal purposes.

Cynara scolymus or globe artichoke is closely related to thistle. What is eaten of the artichoke that shows up on our dinner plate is the unopened flower head and bracts of the plant . Some plants such as sow thistle (genus Sonchus of the Chicory tribe-Lactuceaea) and Russian thistle (Salsola kali of the Goosefoot family), are called thistle because of their prickliness but are not true thistles.

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thistle, popular name for many spiny and usually weedy plants, but especially applied to members of the family Asteraceae (aster family) that have spiny leaves and often showy heads of purple, rose, white, or yellow flowers followed by thistledown seeds (a favorite food of the goldfinch). The Scotch thistle (variously identified, but most often as Onopordum acanthium, now cultivated as an ornamental) is the badge of the Scottish Order of the Thistle and the national emblem of Scotland. The blessed thistle, or St.-Benedict's-thistle (Cnicus benedictus, the Carduus benedictus of Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing, iii:4) was at one time a heal-all and is still sometimes used medicinally. The common, or bull, thistle (Cirsium lanceolatum) and the pasture thistle (Cirsium odoratum) are attractive weeds not to be confused with the so-called Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense), naturalized from Europe. A few thistles are cultivated in gardens, e.g., the large-flowered globe thistles, species of the Old World genus Echinops. The Russian thistle is a tumbleweed. Thistle is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Asterales, family Asteraceae.

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this·tle / ˈ[unvoicedth]isəl/ • n. 1. a widely distributed herbaceous plant (Carlina, Cirsium, Carduus, and other genera) of the daisy family, which typically has a prickly stem and leaves and rounded heads of purple flowers. Its numerous species include the bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare). 2. a plant of this type as the Scottish national emblem, esp. the Scotch thistle (Onopordum acanthium. DERIVATIVES: this·tly / ˈ[unvoicedth]is(ə)lē/ adj.

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thistlehassle, Kassel, passel, tassel, vassal •axel, axle •cancel, hansel, Hänsel, Mansell •transaxle •castle, metatarsal, parcel, tarsal •chancel • sandcastle • Newcastle •Bessel, nestle, pestle, redressal, trestle, vessel, wrestle •Edsel • Texel •intercensal, pencil, stencil •pretzel • staysail • mainsail • Wiesel •abyssal, bristle, epistle, gristle, missal, scissel, thistle, whistle •pixel • plimsoll •tinsel, windsail •schnitzel, spritsail •Birtwistle •paradisal, sisal, trysail •apostle, colossal, dossal, fossil, glossal, jostle, throstle •consul, proconsul, tonsil •dorsal, morsel •council, counsel, groundsel •Mosul • fo'c's'le, forecastle •bustle, hustle, muscle, mussel, Russell, rustle, tussle •gunsel • corpuscle •disbursal, dispersal, Purcell, rehearsal, reversal, succursal, tercel, transversal, traversal, universal •Herzl

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thistle the Scottish national emblem; the Order of the Thistle is the highest order of Scottish knighthood, instituted by James II in 1687 and revived by Queen Anne in 1703.

In biblical use, thistle is also generally used as the type of an unrewarding crop, as in God's words to Adam (Genesis 3:17–18).

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thistle Any of numerous species of plants with thorny leaves and yellow, white, pink, or purple flower heads with prickly bracts. The field thistle, Cirsium discolor, resembles the heraldic thistle, which is the national emblem of Scotland. Family Asteraceae/Compositae.

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thistle OE. þī́stel = OS. thī́stil, OHG. distil(a) (Du., G. distel), LG. diestel, dîstel, ON. þī́still :- Gmc. *þī́stilaz, -ilō, of unkn. orig.