The Thistle is the common name of a group of flowering plants characterized by leaves with sharp prickles on the margins. Prickles often occur all over the plant – on surfaces such as those of the stem and flat parts of leaves. The Thistle is the floral emblem of Scotland.

Thistledown, a method of seed dispersal by wind. The tiny seeds are a favourite of Goldfinches and other small birds. Thistledown is the soft feathery material which protects the fruiting part of the Thistle.