Sunday, May 9, 2010

Beautiful Flowers on Well-Armored Plants

The white prickly poppy (Argemone albifora subsp texana) has viciously sharp leaves, so sharp that cattle won't eat it even when everything else has been grazed to the ground. Bees like it for the pollen, but I have not seen many bees around this year. (There is an article here: about the world-wide bee die-off).

I let some of these plants grow, despite the pain when I accidentally bump into one of the, because their flowers are very pretty.

The Texas thistle (Cirsium texanum) is another spiny plant you don't want to run into. In addition to producing pretty flowers, its foliage is food for caterpillars of the painted-lady butterfly, and birds eat the seeds. So I only cut down the ones that are right next to places I need to walk to tend the gardens.


  1. I'm a big fan of the prickly poppy for all the reasons you mentioned. I enjoyed looking at your posts and all the lovely Texas wildflowers. There's nothing like Texas for the beauty of native flowering plants!

  2. The prickly poppies have just exploded in the New Braunfels area the past week. Best in years, and you're right, they're beautiful. I like the thistles too, for the reasons you mentioned, and don't like them for their prickly aggressiveness. So we pull ours, hopefully before they seed. And next year there are always more...

    Nice to make your acquaintance!