Carline Thistle - Carlina vulgaris


    Low to short plant. Leaves are alternate, not in a basal rosette, cottony beneath. Leaves, bracts and stems all spiny. Flowerheads are 15 to 40 mm, solitary or in groups of 2 to 5, ray less but with numerous spreading shiny yellowish bracts which are linear and pointed. Flowers open in dry weather.

    Identification difficulty

    Favours dry well grazed grassland, especially limestone grassland, cliffs and quarry faces etc.

    When to see it

    Flowers July to September with old plants persisting for a while.

    Life History


    UK Status

    Widespread in England and Wales, mainly coastal in Scotland it is quite scarce in most areas but can be locally frequent in suitable situations.

    VC55 Status

    Uncommon in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 6 of the 617 tetrads.

    In the current checklist (Jeeves 2011) it is listed as occasional; nearly scarce. 

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map