Saturday, December 2, 2023
HomeFlowerThorny Tales: Decoding the Symbolism of Thistle Flowers

Thorny Tales: Decoding the Symbolism of Thistle Flowers

Thistles or Cirsium could also be greatest identified for his or her showy purple and pink flowers and their prickly foliage. However these perennials are additionally vital for pollinators, in addition to a supply of meals and people drugs. The nationwide image of Scotland, thistles play vital roles in legend and folklore. Right here, we’ll take you thru all the things it’s essential to find out about thistle flower which means and symbolism, their historical past and origins, plus study their cultural significance at present.

Ultimate Guide to Thistle Flower Meaning (Cirsium)

Thistle Flower That means – The Necessities

To the Victorians, a present of thistle flowers served as a warning in opposition to undesirable meddling. Often called the flower of intrusion, thistles additionally play symbolic roles in different cultures. Because the nationwide flower of Scotland, thistles stand for bravery, power, and luck, whereas in France, thistles had been believed to supply safety in opposition to witchcraft.

Etymological That means

The title Cirsium comes from the Greek phrase for swollen veins, or kirso. Thistles had been as soon as thought to remedy vein illnesses.

The That means, Symbolism, and Cultural Significance of Thistle Flowers

The Meaning, Symbolism, and Cultural Significance of Thistle Flowers

An Iconic Flower of Scotland

Thistles bloom in a variety of colours, together with purple, pink, white, yellow, and magenta. The thistle options closely in folklore, particularly in Scotland.

There, the thistle is the nationwide flower and is steeped in which means and legend. Within the 1200s, Norway’s King Haakon determined he would conquer the Scots. One darkish night time, his military landed on the Coast of Largs. The Norse warriors took off their sneakers so they might sneak up on the sleeping Scotsmen.

However this turned out to be a strategic error… within the darkness, a Norse warrior’s barefoot landed on a prickly thistle. He shrieked in ache, waking the Scottish Clansmen in time to thwart the assault. Since then, the flowers have been related to good luck, bravery, braveness, and power.

The thistle was named the Scottish nationwide flower by Alexander the III. In centuries since, it’s appeared on cash and the Royal Arms of Scotland. Scotland’s Order of Chivalry is called “The Most Historic and Noble Order of the Thistle. Members sport gold chains with hyperlinks within the form of flowers, and their motto is nemo me impune lacessit, orno-one provokes me with impunity.”

Thistle Flowers and French Legends

Thistle Flowers and French Legends

Thistles play a particular function in French legend, as nicely. Within the Lorraine area, the thistle has lengthy been a logo of the Virgin Mary, the place the plant’s white sap signifies mom’s milk. The Duchy of Lorraine adopted the thistle as their royal image after victory in a battle in opposition to Burgundy. In the present day, the flower symbolizes the town of Nancy and seems on the town’s soccer workforce jerseys.

In folklore, the thistle was believed to supply safety from witches. The French believed that witches couldn’t look straight on the solar. Because the thistle’s flowers face the sunshine straight, the blossoms had been thought to signify the solar’s safety in opposition to witchcraft.

Maybe the thistle’s prickly repute influenced its symbolism within the language of flowers. To the Victorians, a present of thistle flowers stood for intrusion and signified a warning in opposition to undesirable meddling.

Thistle Flowers in Artwork and Literature

Thistles have been featured in artwork and literature by way of the years. Scottish poet Hugh MacDiarmid wrote of the thistle in his epic poem A Drunk Man Seems on the Thistle. The American artist John Singer Sergeant painted thistles within the mid-1900s, and the flowers featured in Ansel Adams’s work.

Appropriate Gifting Events for Thistle Flowers

Suitable Gifting Occasions for Thistle Flowers

Thistles have lengthy been related to bravery, braveness, and power. Embody thistle flowers in a floral reward to somebody who’s preventing a battle, who has overcome adversity, or who has proven braveness and triumphed.

Regardless of their prickly stems, thistle flowers have a fragile look. They add pure, natural magnificence to floral designs for weddings and different particular occasions.

Thistle Flower FAQs:

What does the thistle flower signify?

Within the Victorian language of flowers, the thistle represents instruction and means, “Your meddling is undesirable.” To the Scots, the thistle stands for braveness, power, and bravado.

Is a thistle good luck? 

In Scottish lore, the spiny thistle thwarted an assault from an enemy military with its prickly spines. Since then, it’s been related to good luck, power, and braveness.

Is the thistle the flower of Scotland? 

The thistle is the flower of Scotland, due to taking part in a key historic function in victory over enemy invaders. The flower options in royal heraldry, on sport workforce logos, and because the image of the elite Order of the Thistle.

What does a thistle imply spiritually? 

The thistle has connections to the Virgin Mary. In areas of France, the plant’s sap is related to mom’s milk and was as soon as believed to supply highly effective safety in opposition to witchcraft.

Is thistle toxic to people? 

Thistle just isn’t poisonous to people. In reality, it has many culinary and medical makes use of and is a vital plant for pollinator species comparable to bees, butterflies, and birds.


The thistle grows throughout temperate climates, gracing meadows, roadsides, and boggy areas with its delicate purple, pink, white, and yellow flowers. In some areas, the vegetation are seen as weeds, whereas in different cultures, they signify power, braveness, and victory. Within the language of flowers, the thistle symbolizes undesirable intrusion and means “cease meddling.” When grown within the backyard or given as floral items, thistle flowers present coloration and texture with their feathery blossoms and spiny foliage.

Linsay is an American copywriter based mostly within the Pacific Northwest with a background in tutorial writing and analysis. Linsay holds Grasp’s diploma in each Anthropology and Library and Data Sciences and has written for quite a few nationwide and worldwide publications together with USA In the present day, SFGATE, Hunker, and The Bump throughout an array of matters within the gardening, inexperienced residing, and journey sectors. When she’s not writing, you will often discover Linsay studying, kayaking, crusing, snowboarding, or working in her backyard.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments