Spotters’ guide – to wild flowers
You’re bound to see an amazing variety of flowers and plants when you’re out walking. Take a book with you to help you identify them as you go along.
The Scottish thistle is the national flower of Scotland and perhaps one of its most timeless symbols. An annual plant that can reach up to 8ft, the leaves are large and covered in sharp yellow spines. The thistle flowers in mid-summer, and forms pink or purple heads with spiny brachts at the base of each. In its native environment, it often takes over pastures and meadows, and is also frequently found along rivers.
Tradition says that the thistle helped in the protection of the country during early Viking invasions. When the Vikings were advancing on a sneak raid, they would stumble through the spiky thistles and cry out, alerting the Scots to the invasion and allowing them to advance to meet their enemy on the battlefield.
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