Bells Station, CA 9-28-03
This plant has pretty yellow flowers and wicked brown thorns. We had stopped at a pullout on the state highway east of Gilroy to eat breakfast on the road. I was so busy going through my wildflower books that I did not even notice that a CA Highway Patrol officer had stopped to ask my husband if everything was OK! He probably wondered what I was doing squatting along the side of the road with a wildflower book and a journal in my hands! Talk about "tunnel vision!" :) Yellow Star Thistle is toxic to horses and causes nigropallidal encephalomalacia or chewing disease.