thistle

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thistle,

popular name for many spiny and usually weedy plants, but especially applied to members of the family Asteraceae (asteraster
[Gr.,=star], common name for the Asteraceae (Compositae), the aster family, in North America, name for plants of the genus Aster, sometimes called wild asters, and for a related plant more correctly called China aster (Callistephus chinensis
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 family) that have spiny leaves and often showy heads of purple, rose, white, or yellow flowers followed by thistledown seeds (a favorite food of the goldfinch). The Scotch thistle (variously identified, but most often as Onopordum acanthium, now cultivated as an ornamental) is the badge of the Scottish Order of the Thistle and the national emblem of Scotland. The blessed thistle, or St.-Benedict's-thistle (Cnicus benedictus, the Carduus benedictus of Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing, iii:4) was at one time a heal-all and is still sometimes used medicinally. The common, or bull, thistle (Cirsium lanceolatum) and the pasture thistle (Cirsium odoratum) are attractive weeds not to be confused with the so-called Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense), naturalized from Europe. A few thistles are cultivated in gardens, e.g., the large-flowered globe thistles, species of the Old World genus Echinops. The Russian thistle is a tumbleweedtumbleweed,
any of several plants, particularly abundant in prairie and steppe regions, that commonly break from their roots at maturity and, drying into a rounded tangle of light, stiff branches, roll before the wind, covering long distances and scattering seed as they go.
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. Thistle is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Asterales, family Asteraceae.
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thistle

thistle

Spiky, prickly leaves with pink or violet flower burs. Though the entire plant has liver protecting properties, the seeds have the strongest effects on the liver. Milk thistle seed contains silymarin, a compound shown to protect the liver, and to accelerate the regeneration of liver cells. As an antioxidant milk thistle can help reduce oxidative damage to the liver. Used as a liver protectant and healer, to treat spleen problems, to protect the kidneys, as an antioxidant, and to protect the system from heavy metal damage. Milk Thistle blocks toxins entering the liver and cleanses toxicity out of the liver cells, a good (temporary) process during any cleanse and detoxification process. Milk thistle raises levels of SOD, interferon, and T-lymphocytes. Leaf tea used for skin problems, rash and tuberculosis. Root tea used for bowel issues like worms and diarrhea. You can make a lemonade from thistles. Juice or blend, strain out prickles or pulp, add lemon and optional honey. As for pure food, the root is the easiest survival food. Bull thistle for example has a pretty hefty root. Can be eaten raw or cooked. Young plants are best. Unopened flower buds, raw or cooked.

Thistle

 

the name of many thorny plants of the family Compositae, mainly of the genus Onopordum. There are more than 40 species, distributed in Eurasia and North Africa, chiefly in Mediterranean countries. Of the approximately ten species found in the USSR, the most common is the Scotch thistle (O. acanthium), a biennial weed with a prickly, dentate, and winged stem and large thorny leaves. The plant’s lilac-pink flowers are gathered into large solitary heads. The fruits have pappi. The Scotch thistle is found in the European USSR, the Caucasus, Siberia, and Middle Asia.

thistle

[′this·əl]
(botany)
Any of the various prickly plants comprising the family Compositae.

thistle

of Scotland. [Flower Symbolism: Halberts, 38]

thistle

any of numerous plants of the genera Cirsium, Carduus, and related genera, having prickly-edged leaves, pink, purple, yellow, or white dense flower heads, and feathery hairs on the seeds: family Asteraceae (composites)