Friday, September 11, 2009

Spanish needles - Elizabeth Smith

Spanish needles, originally uploaded by Elizabeth Smith.

Spanish needles, Aster family

Hated by hikers and gardeners, beloved by butterflies

Right now these scruffy wildflowers (or weeds) are growing and blooming like crazy. The butterflies are feasting! They’re also setting seed, those troublesome little slivers with hooks on the end that hitchhike onto our sneakers, socks, cuffs, and pets. I read that one plant can produce 1250 of these seeds! Once one plant gets a foothold in your garden, it seems they show up forever after. They’re still attractive to me; they are survivors and cheery-looking, and anything that attracts so many butterflies can’t be all bad.

Click on the image above to view larger on my Flickr photostream page.

~ Elizabeth Smith
Naples, Florida, USA


  1. You do make them look lovely! I've heard that one weed gone to seed in a garden means 7 years of weeding out the babies...I believe it!

  2. lovely page - We could definitely say they were very bad weeds - except for all the butterflies they attract.. I haven't seen butterflies in summer over the past few years, especialy not the amount I used to as a child.

  3. I'd never heart them called Spanish needles! What a wonderful, interesting page, Elizabeth.

  4. Thanks everyone!

    Gee, Mistress, 7 years of weeding...yikes!

    Alissa, we seem to have a lot of butterflies this year, not always the case.

    Kate, I'm glad you enjoyed it! Maybe Spanish needles is a Florida name.


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