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Onopordum acanthium

Commissioned from the Danish Radio Big Band for the “Wild Flowers”-tour in 2017, the assignment was to write about a wild flower from the Danish fauna.

 My choice fell on the Æselfoder (eng. Scottish Thistle).

A member of the Thistle family, this species can grow 3 meters high attributing thick stems covered in long thorns. Mostly seen at landfills and unattended gardens, it holds a place at the bottom of the plant society. But the soft, purple flowers displayed all the way at the top, are filled with the loveliest nectar, said to be attractive especially to donkeys (hence the Danish name Æselfoder, which directly translates to donkey food). Later I learned that the latin name actually describes what happens thereafter: Onos = donkey, perdo = flatulence…

My piece describes the plant from thorns to flowers, added some donkey dreams about the shot of nectar waiting (donkey shot freely interpreted Don Quixote for the sharp ears listening)

Annette Saxe

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