Wildflowers forum: Just Because It's a Thistle

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Name: Kim
Iowa (Zone 5a)
I kill ornamentals... on purpose.
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Spiders! Critters Allowed Birds Houseplants I helped beta test the first seed swap
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Chillybean
Sep 16, 2015 10:26 AM CST
I was looking at a thistle here in the database and checked its native status. It is native.
http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=CIDI

Yet, it's deemed invasive. Are the Dept. of Agriculture and other entities basing their judgements on a farming experience or true invasiveness? I know a native plant can be aggressive outside its historical range. In Iowa the whole genus Cirsium is deemed noxious, even if they are well behaved and belong here.

I have thought of sowing native thistle in our pasture, but figure the next owners will just dump chemicals on it. Which likely they will do anyway, unless they care about habitat. From the little we know about the history of our place, the area we call "pasture" has never been used for row crops because of the drainage. It was used by the previous owner for his horses.

I do not think I posted the link on this site of an article I enjoyed. I sure would like the bumper sticker someone mentioned in a comment. :)
http://prairieecologist.com/2015/08/26/saving-pollinators-on...
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
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frostweed
Sep 16, 2015 2:14 PM CST

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I like Thistles and of course so do the Butterflies and Bees, I usually leave some in my garden. Smiling
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
central Illinois
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jmorth
Sep 16, 2015 2:38 PM CST
Under-rated, but fantastic flower. Definitely a pollinator lure..


Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Birds Cat Lover Xeriscape
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frostweed
Sep 16, 2015 3:49 PM CST

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That is a gorgeous picture Jay. Smiling
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
central Illinois
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Plant Database Moderator Garden Ideas: Level 2 Photo Contest Winner: 2014
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jmorth
Sep 16, 2015 4:42 PM CST
Thanks
Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
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mellielong
Sep 25, 2015 4:25 AM CST
I took this photo last September in Louisa, KY where I was attending a genealogy conference (and doing some butterfly watching during the breaks). It is very rare for me to ever get photos of more than one butterfly on a flower. This is one my favorite pictures ever. Oh, and that's a Great Spangled Fritillary and a Monarch for those who don't know butterflies.

Thumb of 2015-09-25/mellielong/0b8dad

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Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
Dances with Dirt
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gardengus
Sep 25, 2015 5:24 AM CST
I use to have a horse that would curl his lips back and eat the flowers off the big purple thistles. He had plenty pasture so all I could think he found them sweet enough to tough out the prickliness.
Our pasture here does not have any thistles (goats)
But they come up in the landscape . I leave them to flower but cut them before dispersing seed.I am often barefooted and do not like them in the lawn. Rolling my eyes.
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Birds Cat Lover Xeriscape
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frostweed
Sep 25, 2015 5:46 AM CST

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Gorgeous picture Melanie. Smiling
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
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mellielong
Sep 25, 2015 6:19 AM CST
Thanks, I was trying really hard to get a photo before one or both flew away!
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Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
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wildflowers
Sep 30, 2015 9:33 AM CST

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I'm with you, Kim! I thought an invasive species would only be defined as a non-native species, usually one that has a negative effect on the environment. I too wonder if it's according to farming experiences; still 'invasive' doesn't seem correct, the term 'Noxious' might be more accurate.

If the pollinators like them, so do I. Thistles are especially loved by bees and butterflies and the seeds enjoyed by many birds. We get lots of those huge Bull thistles (cirsium horridulum) here, and I let them grow as much as possible... even though dh will mow them down.

May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Kim
Iowa (Zone 5a)
I kill ornamentals... on purpose.
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Spiders! Critters Allowed Birds Houseplants I helped beta test the first seed swap
Region: Nebraska Keeper of Poultry Rabbit Keeper Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Procrastinator Garden Ideas: Level 2
Chillybean
Sep 30, 2015 10:11 AM CST
I tend to lean more that it's based on farming... think of the name "US Dept. of Agriculture". It is only after I became interested in natives that I realize how messed up our government is. And I am not thinking of politics so much, though it might play into this. But how the different entities must be fighting against each other to get what they want done. There's those related to development and agriculture and those related to conservation that would seem butt heads with each other.

Now the Road people plant native seeds in areas they've cleared in the ditches. But today... grrr... there they were spraying the ditches, likely with glyphosate. Why do they do that when there is a wind from the east? I ran out and doused the natives in my yard that might have gotten the chemical drift. And they went by so fast, I cannot believe they were very selective.

Look at the Legal Status of the Common Milkweed on the USDA site!
http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=ASSY#

In some areas the Common is what grows the easiest, which is ideal for the Monarchs, yet teaching people it is a weed is not helping anything. I guess moving out here changed my view of farming quite a bit, much of it negatively. But I was encouraged earlier this year when two farmers we know actually said they were leaving the Common Milkweed alone. There is hope that change will occur, even if slower and in a different way than I'd like.
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
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mellielong
Sep 30, 2015 10:31 AM CST
Kim, you could not be more right about different entities of government not working together. I used to work for my local county government. I was in accounting, but I worked in payroll for a while so I got to know a lot of people. One of those was the person who ran the Invasive Species Task Force in the Parks Department. Well, our paper ran a little gardening page each Sunday where the County Extension Service recommended things to plant at this time. And I saw that they were listing Bauhinia (Orchid Tree). Since that was on the list of invasive plants here in Florida, I emailed both departments asking why one department is telling people to plant something another department is trying to eradicate. I don't think I made too many friends at the Extension Service, but I noticed they dropped it from the list. So even at the local level, things are kind of a mess.
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