Hitchhiker: Scotch Thistle

Steve Bender and Felder Rushing wrote an entire book about plants that gardeners tend to share rather than buy called Passalong Plants. Some they describe are more southern plants, but four-o’clocks, mistflower, and the daylily ‘Kwanzo,’ among many others, all made it into my garden through friends and family. We wholeheartedly live by that passalong concept; when we have a plant someone admires, out comes the shovel and plastic bag for a quick division. One accidental byproduct: hitchhikers. Because we don’t wash the soil off our prizes, we often end up with the other gardener’s weed seeds along for the ride. You’d think I’d learn my lesson, but it seems so wasteful to wash away hard-earned topsoil. My latest hitchhiker to arrive is this little Scotch thistle. They look gloriously sculptural at 7′ (over 2m) with white felted leaves and purple flowers, but are spiny and self-sow. Not in my garden. Goodbye Scotch thistle, next time send a foxglove or hollyhock or other lovely self-sower for me to welcome in your place.

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9 Responses to “Hitchhiker: Scotch Thistle”

  1. I ended up with a bed full of Creeping Charlie this way. We never do learn, do we? lol

  2. Kimberly Mackowski Says:

    But the picture is so pretty!

  3. adamleone01 Says:

    I really hate these types of weeds! They’re like hardcore daffodils! a real pest in my opinion, I have to say though, what a fantastic picture, do you take these yourself?

  4. Plants that arrive by themselves are always surprises but not always good ones. They do make you wonder where they come from though.

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