What on earth is this plant? Thought it was Acanthus

marcoloJuly 24, 2012

Zone 6 Boston.

I thought this was an Acanthus spinosus. We planted it last year, and moved it this spring. Transplant hit pretty hard but it bounced back mightily.

I've had my suspicions that it wasn't an acanthus, and now that it's just starting to flower, it looks like some kind of thistle.

What is it?



If it is not an acanthus, should I pull it? Is it a weed?

Also, if I do pull it, what should I plant instead? If the acanthus didn't overwinter I don't want another one. But I would like the same bloom time and shape.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mistascott(7A VA)

It is some species of thistle -- perhaps bull thistle (cirsium vulgare), usually considered a weed.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 9:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gazania_gw

That is one fine looking thistle...get rid of it SAP or it will take over your yard. (Ps... wear good heavy gloves!)

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 9:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
marcolo

LOL. You wouldn't believe the TLC this weed has received! At least give me credit--there is a little similarity in the leaf shape to a. spinosus!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 6:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
aachenelf z5 Mpls

Well, I must admit it does look VERY lush and healthy.

Kevin

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 10:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ghoghunter

That is one wonderfully cared for Thistle!!! I sometimes think plants can deliberatly masquerade as other plants to fool us. I have nurtured many a weed in my lifetime and probably will many more times! Shovel prune and move on!
Joann

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 6:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

probably came from a finch thistle feeder

are you the culprit.. or a neighbor ...

ken

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 6:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Ken - 'thistle' in bird seed is not thistle! It's Guizotia abyssinica - see link below. When DH wanted to set up a finch feeder with 'thistle' seed, I checked it out... including doing a germination test on the seed! So the OP's thistle did not come from a bird feeder - but might have come via a bird passing overhead :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: birdseed 'thistle'

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 8:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
marcolo

Are there any cultivars of thistle that you would actually want? Or are sold in garden centers? Is there any possibility this is anything other than a weed?

I haven't gotten around to its execution yet, but before the guillotine falls, I just wanted to make absolutely sure. There's a person of Scottish ancestry in the house, and I wouldn't put it past myself to buy a thistle in honor. Watching me in a garden center is worse than seeing a drunk with a key to the bar.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 12:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
a2zmom(6a - nj)

There are a few thistles that are considered garden worthy, but most are invasive weeds. The worst of the lot is probably Canadian thistle. You can actually be fined for growing that in New Jesey.

The bull thistle that you have is one of the few weeds that I always use round-up on as soon as I spot it. Much easier and safer than trying to pull it.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 10:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Nevermore44 - 6a

Milk thistle and Scotch Thistle are awesome plants.. though you need heavy gloves to handle!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 12:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

who knew..

back in the day ... i bought from the local mill.. i wonder if mine is real thistle ...

go figure.. learn something new every day ...

sooooo.. where the heck do all these thistle come from.. lol ... and shouldnt it be thith-el????

ken

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 7:18PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Achillea sun requirements
I planted a couple of these last year and they were...
DandyLioness (CA 9, SZ 14)
true pink or purple oriental poppies
Hi, I've tried to grow pink and purple oriental poppies...
mary_rockland
flowers of Doc.Martin TV show
I am trying to ID the flowers on the side of the road...
maple_man
Suggestions To Make This Forum Better
A Private Message feature would be great! Add yours!...
WendyJoZ8
Mason Bees)
Does anyone here encourage Mason Bees to stick around...
mikerno_1micha
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™