|Photo by Magnus Manske|
Hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies also appreciate flowers for their nectar. And American Goldfinches time their nesting season so that their nestlings hatch about the time that thistle seeds are ripe to feed to their young.
Canada Thistle is found throughout Michigan as well as the most of the United States, Canada, Europe, northern Asia, and elsewhere. Though its name might suggest otherwise, Canada thistle isn’t a native of Canada and has spread so extensively that it is difficult to distinguish the plant's original native range. It is thought to have come from the Mediterranean region and southeast Europe, perhaps mixed in with grain seed or as hitchhikers in the ballast of ships.
Canada Thistle Cirsium arvense is considered a weed even where it is native but is in not related to Nyjer® (thistle) Guizotia abyssinica a tiny black birdseed that we use to fill the finch feeders. Nyjer seed, a favorite of our American Goldfinches, does not grow weeds and has been heat treated to prevent the growth of any noxious seeds.