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Why some dummy would want to bring this overpowering weed into California is beyond me but it seems that someone did and did it intentionally a long time ago. This prickly beasts can live on almost no water, no dirt, no sunlight, and no room so they can literally box out every single bush and plant they surround. Worse, the thorns you see here are about 2 inches long, hard as sticks, and sharp enough to be used as needles on leather! Step on one and you’ll be cursing the day this invasive species first popped out of the ground. Jump back from that first step and get another dose of agony in your other foot and the likelihood of you falling and SITTING on more of them increases dramatically. I’ve never had one go all the way thru a shoe but I’ve pulled them out of the bottom of tennis shoes. Deer seem to be unphased by them, as are turkeys, squirrels, raccoons, skunks, and many other four-legged, medium-sized animals tho I can’t imagine why. Cut them down with a mulching lawnmower and the suckers will stick you LONG after the plant is history; the needles just turn brown and stay put.

Why in the world these things need to be this nasty is beyond me. They don’t attach to things as well as burrs, their needle help distribute neither seeds nor pollens, and they aren’t cute, edible, or removable. One of Sacramento’s most cherished parks is the American River Parkway that weaves from Sacramento thru some of the most beautiful riparian landscapes around. In places, it has been completely taken over by this bane and even the occasional grass fire doesn’t kill them dead enough to not come back before everything else does and spread like the same sort of wildfire!

I bet Medieval warriors saw this vile looking flora and created really awful weapons from its design. They may not have been WMD’s (If you don’t know what this is, don’t ask and you’ll be better off. Trust me.) but they would have been lethal nonetheless!

Tags

star, sharp, useless, thistle, terrible, awful, spreading, painful, invasive, indestructable

I’m a “scatter-focus” artist. ANYTHING may be here or roundabout my galleries. Expect nothing anywhere and you’ll always be OK. ;-)

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Comments

  • Karirose
    Karirosealmost 6 years ago

    Fortunately I have not had the displeasure of encountering one of these little trouble makers. However, you have caught this one in a pleasant mood thus allowing you the opportunity to snap a very nice shot of it. :) I hope you didn’t have your foot thrust through with it’s sister while taking it!

  • Whoa!!!!! There’s no way I’d have been standing on this monster’s sister, even in shoes! Hiking boots are just about the only way to survive even a short jaunt thru an area infested with these little horrors. As for it being in a good mood, I honestly think these weeds are ALWAYS in a good mood since there’s nothing to really screw up their day/week/month/year/decade/century! World War III comes, the earth is irradiated into a wasteland, and the roaches will be seeking shade under the thistles, just waiting for us to come back in a few million years. :-O

    – Lenny La Rue, IPA

  • handprintz
    handprintzalmost 6 years ago

    Ouch what a nasty little plant ! we have similar called a scots thistle which has a purple flower the thorns are’nt quite as nasty but they take over absolutley everything as well imported from scotland obviously,wish they had kept them there lol, l think the problem is with these types of plants is that in their original country of habitat they were controled by the weather,get them into a climate with lots more sun and their resilience doubles and we can’t get rid of them,

  • Uggghhhh! Sorry to hear you’ve been invaded as well. It’s GOT to be weather that checks this blight because nothing else does. I’m not even sure if salting the earth would stop it from encroachment!

    – Lenny La Rue, IPA

  • handprintz
    handprintzalmost 6 years ago

    We have enough salt encroaching Australia already,it has poisoned the ground water an that has’nt killed it,l think it must be realted to cockroaches and like them would be the only thing left on the panet if we had a nuclear war lol

  • solareclips~Julie  Alexander
    solareclips~Ju...almost 6 years ago

    I agree with you 100% They are a HUGE pain!!!! ;-)

  • A pain in EVERY POSSIBLE way. :-(

    – Lenny La Rue, IPA

  • Laurie Puglia
    Laurie Pugliaalmost 6 years ago

    this is awesome lenny :) awesome!

  • Thank you, Laurie. Even something as harmful as this weed has a beautiful God-given side. It’s just a bit hard to find it when you’re screaming in pain after being impaled by its “beauty”. ;-)

    – Lenny La Rue, IPA

  • Laurie Puglia
    Laurie Pugliaalmost 6 years ago

    So True…

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