Derided as weeds in many places, thistles can be quite both brightly charming and an effective biological weapon of sorts.

The Scots adopted the thistle as a national symbol in the 13th century thanks to the role they played in thwarting a Viking attack.  As the story goes, a party of raiding Norsemen removed their shoes, hoping to launch a silent attack on the sleeping Scots.  Running aground on the land urchins, the Norsemen’s howls awoke the Scots, who defeated them.

SNOW DUSTED LAVENDER -- Beautiful, but handle with care.

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