Blessed milk thistle
There was something fascinating to me about this plant, growing alongside my hiking trail on Mississippi Bar. Among all the varieties of weeds now flourishing wildly over the landscape, this particular thistle, brazenly rising up tall and straight beside the narrow track, caused me to pause — cautiously — for a closer look.
Silybum marianum has other common names include cardus marianus, milk thistle, blessed milkthistle, Marian thistle, Mary thistle, Saint Mary’s thistle, Mediterranean milk thistle, variegated thistle and Scotch thistle… Originally a native of Southern Europe through to Asia, it is now found throughout the world — Wikipedia
Another thistle plant, this one yet to bloom, with defensive spines at the ready:
What is it about these bold and hardy invaders? I’m glad I don’t have any growing in my yard, but I can’t help admiring them!