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Musk Thistle

Oil painting, 18″ x24″ plus 3/4″ wide ornate black/gold wooden frame.  Painted for my Pretty Weeds art show, which runs May through July 2024 at Sociable Cider Werks.

Label text:

Musk Thistle

Flower size: 2 to 3 inches across

Scientific name: Carduus Nutans

Other common names: nodding thistle, nodding plumeless thistle

Native to Eurasia

Declared as invasive in North America, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa

Musk thistle colonizes in disturbed areas, pastures, roadside ditches, ditch banks, hayfields, meadows, and disturbed prairies. It reduces the grazing value of land because farm animals won’t eat it, giving it an advantage over native species.

Goldfinches are quite fond of Nodding Thistle (and all thistles) for both the seed and the silks from the seed heads, which they use to line their nests.”

-Minnesota Wildflowers: A Field Guide to the Flora of Minnesota



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