Persistently white-tomentose throughout. Stems: stout, leafy. Leaves: lanceolate in outline, acute, sessile, undulate, lobed, the lobes dentate, triangular, very prickly. Flowers: solitary at the ends of the branches.
This reddish-purple Thistle grows from one to three feet high and is a' fine handsome plant with large long leaves, whose edges are wavy and triangularly lobed, the lobes being sharply toothed and very prickly. The big flower-heads grow at the ends of the branches and are surrounded by large involucres of prickly bracts.
Every traveller knows that the Thistle is the national floral emblem of Scotland, and has been ever since that day when a barefoot Danish soldier, stepping inadvertently upon its spines, gave a cry of pain which aroused the sleeping Scottish camp and saved Scotland. The motto which Scotsmen affix to this flower is "Nemo me impiine lacessit" (No one touches me with impunity), or in the vernacular, "Ye maun't meddle wi' me." And assuredly we are quite content to leave it alone in its prickly glory, only pausing a moment in passing to admire its fine richly coloured flowers.