Carline Thistle - Carlina vulgaris

    Description

    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
    Habitat

    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

    Biennial.

    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.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map