No, it isn't; it's a teasel (Dipsacus fullonum), a common wild plant round here, which we tolerate a few of in the garden because of their “architectural” characteristics. If you look it up on Wikipedia, you will see it has blue/lilac flowers in Summer, which start flowering at the top of the head and open downwards forming a band of blue. In winter, the local goldfinch come and eat the seeds.
Oddly enough, my local teasel has decided to do the same thing for the last four weeks or so, only this time the band isn't its usual blue, but green.
Anybody ever seen this before? It looks as if the rain had got at the seeds in the head and they had germinated.
I would have called that a thistle, but after checking a bit, I found that while teasel and thistle may look alike, but are not the same.
http://www.botanicalaccuracy.com/2014/01/teasels-tousled-with-thistles.html wrote:So, can you tell teasels and thistles apart? Thistles have many (involucral) bracts below the flower head that form a cup below the flowers. In teasels, there are just a few long bracts that stick out below the flower head. The teasels have lots of sharp parts in the actual flower head, so the flower head looks like a spiny ball the whole season. In thistles, the bracts below the flower stays, but there are no persistent spiny parts inside among the flowers themselves. The fruits, which are little nut-like, single-seeded achenes have a feathery pappus for wind-dispersal in thistles, but are naked in teasels.
posted 1 month ago
No, teasels are related to Scabiosa (scabious/sheep's bit/devil's bit, etc.), and less closely to the woodbine/honeysuckle (Lonicera).
Thistles are more closely related to the daisy. A thistle has one flower head with many florets in; a teasel has a head with many small flowers separated from one another. The pappus mentioned in your quote makes the former thistle flower head look white and woolly. The seeds (thistledown) float about in the wind and they will happily grow much more prolifically than any teasel.
Teasels have leaves which completely encircle their stems, collecting rainwater. We sometimes find gnat (Culex) larvae in that water; fortunately we don't seem to have nasty mosquitoes (Anophelesetc.) round here. They plants retain their shape after they die. The heads were traditionally used like combs for teasing fleeces before spinning the wool. But I bet they didn't sprout little green leaves whilst teasing the wool.
posted 1 month ago
So as to bump this thread: has anybody seen seeds sprouting in situ like that elsewhere?
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