Thistle plants are among those people usually consider weeds. The thorns are impressive, and they grow very tall. This one was already well over 5 feet tall and looks as though it’s capable of taking on all comers. It’s not the kind of thing you want your toddler to fall into. And yet, I suspect that when an Eastern Goldfinch looks at this plant, if they could they would start to drool. To them this is a 5-star restaurant and all you can eat buffet all rolled into one gigantic plant.
Most thistles aren’t as large as this one. Seeing this developing thistle flower at eye level, as I did last night, felt a little like meeting a space alien. This is one large thistle plant, and the seeds that will attract goldfinch like bees to flowers should be impressive in both size and number in another month or so.
I’m glad this one isn’t growing someplace that I need to get around or by or over. I love seeing the goldfinch, and the goldfinch love the thistle, but that doesn’t mean I have to love every thistle. As long as we want to see goldfinch, we need places where thistle can grow happily without endangering children and pets. Not to mention me.