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.
Favours dry well grazed grassland, especially limestone grassland, cliffs and quarry faces etc.
Flowers July to September with old plants persisting for a while.
Widespread in England and Wales, mainly coastal in Scotland it is quite scarce in most areas but can be locally frequent in suitable situations.
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.
Leicestershire & Rutland Map
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Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015