Thistle: No More Waiting

nyc 006Last December, I was at the Beacon train station, and I noticed a really magnificent specimen of a thistle. It was growing, still green in December, thriving among the gravel so carefully placed to keep weeds down (see Thistle: Waiting for the Train).

Well, today I happened to be at the Beacon train station again, waiting for the New York City train, and there was my prickly friend. The thistle has weathered the winter, better than I did–no colds, flu or dry skin–and is in fine shape. No more just a flat basal rosette of leaves–now it’s time to spring into action.

Here’s the thistle in early December:                     nyc 002

And here’s the same plant more than four months later:

nycapril 003

Strong green shoots are thrusting up from the center. Being green and photosynthesizing all winter gives thistles a tremendous head start. In this chilly spring, most plants are still underground, timidly beginning to consider the possibility of germinating. The thistle has already started its journey to summer.

About unmowed

I'm a writer and a botanist who loves the weirdly weedy places of the world.
This entry was posted in adaptations, leaves, plant parts, spring, Uncategorized, winter and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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