Bull Thistle. Thistles are the irrepressible do-as-thou-wilt characters thriving as if to spite the pious and tidy-minded. Whatever would I have to talk about without thistle issues? How to identify the plant. thistle pollen and become food sources for wildlife. The notion of thistle being GOOD could be cause for an extra cup of coffee with a newspaper in the morning (and feel good about it) instead of mixing a load of herbicide and heading out to spot spray. Classification: Cirsium vulgare Geographic Location: Pacific and western states Description: It is a tall biennial thistle, forming a rosette of leaves and a taproot up to 70 cm long in the first year, and a flowering stem 1–1.5 m tall in the second year.The stem is winged, with numerous longitudinal spine-tipped wings along its full length. Plants in this family have many small flowers that are gathered into a flowerhead which then looks like a single flower. Thistles are excellent plants for supporting wildlife, providing nectar for a wide range of insects and seeds for wintering birds, such as Goldfinches. Many species of bees, butterflies and other wildlife rely heavily on native thistle flowers. Wildlife and Pollinators! The painted lady is also known as the thistle butterfly. Landowner Contacts - Michigan and Wisconsin have landowner contact programs to educate private and public property owners about this … Wildlife Uses. How people can help The Wildlife Trusts look after many meadow habitats using traditional methods, such as hay-cutting, reseeding and grazing, for the benefit of local wildlife. Painted Lady butterflies prefer thistles as food plants for their larva. Native thistles are a largely misunderstood and wrongly maligned group of wildflowers. WHAT TO LOOK FOR But before you target all thistles, remember that there are 20 native thistle species in Colorado, and these play an important role for wildlife. Just a shame it dries out so much in long dry periods, as it often goes up in flames then, nearly all our hill fires originate in … Ah, yes. It’s perhaps one of the easiest plants to identify. Cirsium scopulorum has a limited range, growing in sub-alpine and alpine zones (9,000 to 13,000 feet) along the Continental Divide from New Mexico to Wyoming. We get many European skippers visiting our plants. Thistles saved Emperor Charlemagne from defeat. Thistles have been largely relegated into the noxious weed category by most people, but there are actually thistles native to the area that are attractive, beneficial to wildlife, and not even very prickly. Native thistles should not be killed, because they are not noxious weeds. Look for it above the tree-line, and in boulder fields and scree slopes. Appropriately, the name scopulorum means “rocky places.”. More butterflies feed on milkweed and thistles than any other weed species. For some large ungulates like elk, native thistles are a source of forage. The thistle’s roots were made into a healing medicine for his disease-plagued armies. Thistle blossoms are much loved by butterflies and other pollinators. This guide serves to promote the importance of maintaining native thistles in the landscape and should be used to verify whether a thistle is native or exotic before implementing control strategies. Truly a favored and happy topic! Good for you! It prefers full sun and moist soil. For example, monarch butterflies visit native thistle flowers more than any other wildflowers in some regions during their migration back to … Most of the hate for thistles comes from a handful of invasive species that tend to quickly take over any disturbed area in sight. Listing - Pitcher’s thistle was added to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants on July 18, 1988. Their good health helped to turn the tide of battle to his favor. 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