Thursday, June 26, 2014

Iowa Thistle

Preserving native plants is very important. Often with development or just purely by maintaining our lawns we eliminate native plants and vegetation. Some volunteer have made efforts to visit woods, forrest and plains to ensure they preserve the natural vegetation by removing noxious weeds, and replanting wildflower seeds.

One thing that can easily be appreciated in Iowa is that the wild flowers are allowed to grown on the side of the road and easily you can appreciate their beauty. One of my favorite wild flowers is the Iowa Thistle it is a pom pom of gorgeous pink and fuchsia hue. It protects itself well from predators with it's obvious and hidden thistles. I decided it would be a great idea to pick some of the thistle flowers and quickly learned that it did not want to be bothered. It was covered with a variety of pricks from the flower, stem, and leaves. I personally would not be surprised if the root could prick you.

After, the Iowa Thistle blooms it creates seeds by that are very similar to dandelions. The seeds have feather like parachutes that allow it to be carried for miles by the MidAmerican winds. If you are interested in growing your own Iowa Thistle check out https://www.etsy.com/listing/194446250/iowa-wild-thistle-seeds?ref=pr_shop


* How to Grow Iowa Thistle



You can start the seeds in flats or sow directly in the garden.  Since, Thistles are prickly use caution when deciding where you would like to plant them.  Press the seeds into the soil without covering them and keep them moist until they germinate.  They are actually drought resistant, once they become established.  If you are in a mild climate, it is best to sown in fall during a rainy period.  Thistle  likes full sun so its best to put them in a sunny position.  Be advised that thistle can become invasive and their seeds are easily spread by birds. 




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