Wild Harris

Spear Thistle

Spear Thistle 1 LCampbell.jpgSpear Thistle    (Photo: Laurie Campbell)

If you have ever walked across the machair in bare feet and had a painful encounter with a spiky plant, then it is probable that you stood on a spear thistle.

When the plant is young it forms a low-growing ring of spiky leaves

Spear Thistle 2 LCampbell.jpgSpear Thistle    (Photo: Laurie Campbell)

When the thistle is about a year old it produces a stem up to one metre tall with the familiar purple-red flower. This is the flower that is used as the emblem for Scotland.

by Alison Tyler