Dwarf Thistle - Cirsium acaule

    Alternative names
    Stemless Thistle.

    Low stemless or almost stemless plant with a rosette of deep green, spiny leaves. Flowerheads usually solitary, purple 20 to 40 mm borne directly on the leaf rosette.

    Similar Species

    In flower it is unlikely to be confused; but the leaf rosettes are similar to many other thistles

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    Flowerheads sessile, or very shortly stalked


    Dry grassy habitats, especially grazed pastures, on calcareous soils.

    When to see it

    June to September.

    Life History


    UK Status

    Local in England and southern Wales north to Yorkshire.

    VC55 Status

    Mainly found in the east of Leicestershire and parts of Rutland it is approaching the northern limit of its range in VC55. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 62 of the 617 tetrads.

    In the current checklist (Jeeves 2011) it is listed as Native; short calcareous grassland; occasional

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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