I saw the Milk Thistle Silybum marianum growing wild by the roadside in Ooty recently. It must have been introduced by the Scottish tea planters a couple of centuries ago.
The Milk Thistle is also known as St.Mary's Thistle. It is the floral emblem of Scotland. According to a Scottish legend, the Vikings planned to invade Scotland in the hoary past. To avoid any noise, they took off their boots and advanced towards the Scottish garrison, but they were stung severely by the thorns of the thistles. Their cries of agony alerted the Scots who drove them away.
The Milk Thistle has many medicinal uses. It is used for the treatment of liver cirrhosis,. It is also used to lower cholesterol levels,and in the treatment of diabetic nephropathy.
I am a natural gardener living in South India.The exuberant tropical garden that has grown around me is completely organic and critter- friendly.Different frogs, birds, butterflies and other winged creatures live in my garden or visit it, including some of the creeping kind. All are welcome except the four legged kind. I love to travel and to learn new things.