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"Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men or animals. Some seem to smile; some have a sad expression; some are pensive and diffident; others again are plain, honest and upright, like the broad-faced sunflower and the hollyhock."
- Henry Ward Beecher
About ThistleThistle is the name of a group of flowering plants that have their leaves with sharp prickles on the margins. The prickles are often found all over the plant. It is their way of protection against herbivorous animals and stop them from eating the plant.
Thistle is the emblem of Scotland and also the emblem of Encyclopedia Britannica, which originated in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Thistles include some invasive species that interfere with the crops or the pastures and are seen as troublesome weeds. Some species, not intensively poisonous affect the health of the animals when swallowed in small amounts.
However, some species have an important commercial value because they are used in the process of cheese making. Other species are cultivated for their seeds and used to make vegetable oil or for pharmaceutical purposes. Other thistles seen as weeds are very important honey plants.
In the flower language, the thistle is a Celtic symbol of nobility of character or the symbol of birth.
The medieval writers thought the thistle could grow back hair on the bald heads and in the early modern period the thistle was believed to cure headaches and plague.