Horse-thristle

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Onopordum acanthium

The Horse-thristle for ordinar growes in Europe, North Africae an Asie, it is a virr, biennial wi coorse, piky leafs an kenspeckle jaggy-weengit stocks.

The flouer o the thristle haes been the naitional emblem o Scotland syne the time o Alexander III (1249 - 1286) an wis uised on siller cunyies issued by Jeames III in 1470.

Gaun by leegend, an invadin Norse airmy wis ettlin, by nicht, tae sneak upo a Scots airmy encampment. Ae barefit Norseman haed the wanluck tae pit his fit on a thristle that gart him skelloch wi pyne, lattin licht tae the Scots that the Norse wis oot an aboot. Some threaps that wis the Battle o Largs that merkit the onset o the awagaun o King Haakon IV (Haakon the Elder) o Norrowey, wha haein owerins o the Northren Isles an Hebrides, haed herriet the coast o the Kinrick o Scotland for mony a year. Piky plants sic as brammles seems tae hae been uised aboot forts lang syne, sae the story, whither adae wi the Haakon episode or no, is likely the affcome o mair nor ae sic ploy.