Spear Thistle - Cirsium vulgare
Tall plant to 1.5 metres, stem with sharp spiny wings to the top. Leaves lanceolate, pinnately lobed, sharply spiny margined, dull green and prickly-hairy on the upper surface. Flowerheads purple, 20 to 40 mm in a panicle or flat topped cluster. Flower bracts straight, with a yellow spine.
As with all Cirsium, the pappus-hairs (the silky white hairs attached to the seed - the thistledown) are individually feathery or branched.
Grassy and waste places, disturbed ground.
July to October.
Very common throughout Britain.
Very common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 604 of the 617 tetrads.
Leicestershire & Rutland Map
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