Wild Harris

Marsh Thistle

Marsh Thistle 1 LCampbell.jpgMarsh Thistle    (Photo: Laurie Campbell)

Wherever there is a damp patch on the machair, the marsh thistle is found. The bright purple flowers are made up of lots of small tubes, held together by a hard base.

Marsh Thistle 2 LCampbell.jpgMarsh Thistle    (Photo: Laurie Campbell)

When the flowers have been pollinated by bees and butterflies, the flowers dry out and open up to release the seeds. Each seed is carried on the wind by a parachute of silky hairs – they can travel a long way, before gently floating down to the ground, where they will grow in to a new thistle plant.

by Alison Tyler