Ploughman's-spikenard - Inula conyzae

Alternative names
Ploughman's Spikenard

A hairy, medium to tall plant, stems erect, purplish to 1.2 metres. Leaves elliptical to lanceolate, finely toothed, the lower ones stalked, the upper unstalked, slightly clasping the stem and all densely softly hairy beneath. Flowerheads small, 9 to 11 mm, dull yellow, the outer florets without or with a very short and inconspicuous ray. Many flowerheads in a flat topped cluster. Inner flower bracts purplish.

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

Stems hairy, tall; leaves narrow; numerous yellow flowerheads, without ray florets, or with only very short ones.

Recording advice

A photograph of the whole plant, showing stem and leaves as well as flowers


Dry, generally rocky habitats, rocky slopes and cliffs and grassy places, especially on calcareous soils

When to see it

Flowering July to September.

Life History


UK Status

Widespread in England and Wales north to the River Tees, though not particularly common in much of that area.


VC55 Status

Occasional and local in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 16 of the 617 tetrads.

In the current checklist (Jeeves 2011) is is listed as Native; disturbed ground; occasional

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map