Interesting things about the Thistle of Scotland

The common thistle is known to botanists as Onopordum acanthium and to everyone else as the Scotch thistle or Scottish thistle. A relative of the sunflower family, the Scottish thistle achieved fame and stands as the national emblem of Scotland. More than 200 types of thistles exist, many viewed less gloriously than the common thistle in Scotland.


What is Thistle?


The cotton thistle is a large plant, growing up to three meters tall and about half that wide. A biennial plant, its spiny leaves are 10 to 50 cm wide, covered with white hairs that give the plant the common name "cotton thistle." They have long, stiff spines that run the length of the margins. The flowers are round and range in color from pink to lavender. The thistle flowers from July to September.


History of Scottish Thistle
The thistle is renowned in Scotland, where it is not only the country's national emblem but also the base of Scotland's ancient order of chivalry known as "The Order of the Thistle." Oral tradition attributes this to a war between the Scottish and the Vikings of Denmark. When the Vikings attempted to surprise the Scots at night, one of them supposedly placed a bare foot on a thistle, causing him to cry out in pain and alerting the Scots to the Viking presence.


Application of Thistle as a Scottish Icon
After this Viking episode, the thistle became known as the "Guardian Thistle" and, under James III, it became the badge of the Stuarts. Today, it is the insignia of the Scottish Guard and has been used on coins, banknotes, stamps, and broadswords. It even decorates the tomb of Mary, Queen of Scots.


Meaning of Scottish Thistle
Given the legend surrounding the Scottish thistle, the plant clearly connotes bravery, courage, and loyalty in the face of treachery. The tough, painful spikes of the plant itself suggest endurance and fortitude. Thistle's vibrant pink or purple color represents royalty and nobility, as well as the nobility of character. As plant expert Arthur Lee Jacobson says about another thistle, "Though we cannot beat, like, or use the damn thing, we must at least respect it as a formidable foe."
A meaningful flower and a symbol of Scotland. We would like to introduce to you the artwork combined with this meaningful flower:

Hand-painted Thistle Scotland symbol with retro color background on rocks

Scotland's Thistle symbol combined with a bee hand painted on rocks

We hope that this blog post will be useful to you.

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