Spiny Restharrow - Ononis spinosa
Short to tall subshrub with stiffly-spiny erect stems, not rooting below and with two lines of hairs. Leaves mostly trifoliate, linear to oval not notched. Flowers pink or reddish purple pea like, 15 to 20 mm in lax racemes. Fruit pod hairy, oval with central line, splitting.
The stems are mainly hairy in one row, or two opposite rows. Leaflets >3 times as long as wide, usually acute or subacute. It can be spineless.
General photo of plant in its habitat, plus details of stem
Rough grassy habitats, commons, banks and roadside verges, sometimes near the coast.
April to September
Fairly frequent in much of England, but scarcer in Scotland and Wales.
Once fairly frequent but possibly declining in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 95 of the 617 tetrads.
Leicestershire & Rutland Map
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Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015