48 x 36,
oil on canvas
Cirsium horridulum, called bristly thistle, horrid thistle, yellow thistle or bull thistle
I saw the plant growing near Refugio, Texas on my way back home from Port Aransas. Normally I do not work from photographs but there was no time (it being late in the afternoon) to do sketches and color studies. I snapped the plant with the cell phone and raced to my painting room as soon as I returned home.
The plant was hideously gorgeous with its stickers the size of bird talons and its richly colored magenta and dark green leaves. wikipedia says: The Houma people make an infusion of the leaves and root of the plant in whiskey, and use it as both an astringent, and take it to clear phlegm from lungs and throat. They also eat the tender, white hearts of the plant raw. The Seminole use the plant to make blowgun darts