By this time of year the flowers in the thistle heads that have been fertilized have each produced a seed. Each seed is equipped with gossamer filaments that catch the slightest breeze and disperse the seed to a new location. Very few of the seeds manage to germinate into a new plant, but there are so many seeds produced that there is a good chance that some seeds will produce new plants.
Most of the younger flowers I have pictured in previous posts on this blog came from a plant that was growing on the roadside near our house. As I noted in an earlier post, that plant was mowed down by the County Highway Department. The photograph below shows a different plant which escaped the mowers by growing in a field a little way from the roadside. All the seed heads have produced seeds and the plant is dying.
Maybe I am too fascinated with thistle plants, and by now I have bored you all to death with photographs of various stages in flower development. I promise this will be the last thistle post for a while. Look for the Devil’s Walking Stick in future posts!