Bull Thistle with an ambush bug
Cirsium vulgare* /Aster Family(INN) Rank 2
These flowers are pretty, but enjoy them from a distance! It is not hard to see why Scotland has this flower as its National Flower. Legend has it that invaders who tried to sneak up barefooted on a group of sleeping soldiers gave themselves away when one of them stepped on a thistle! I found this one blooming in Oak Ridge in early August. Note the little green Ambush Bug on the spiny part of the flower waiting for a tasty meal!
Where seen: Oak Ridge Greenways, Great Smoky Mountains NP, widespread