23. Spear Thistle

No 23
Common Name: Spear Thistle
Scientific Name: Cirsium vulgare
Irish Name: Feochadán colgach
Family: Asteraceae
Habitat: Disturbed ground, roadside verges, field edges
Uses: This thistle is thought to be the plant chosen by James II for Scotland’s emblem as it was a symbol of defence.  This is also reflected by the motto on the coinage of James VI ‘Nemo me impune lacessit’ which translates as ‘Nobody touches me with impunity’.

Next:  St John’s Wort