Scottish Blue Thistle
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In truth, no one knows for certain how the purple-flowered thistle rose to such lofty significance. But one legend has it a sleeping party of Scots warriors were saved from ambush by an invading Norse army when one of the enemies trod on the spiky plant.
His anguished cry roused the slumbering warriors who duly vanquished the invader and adopted the thistle as their national symbol.