SLENDER THISTLE

Carduus tenuiflorus

Daisy & Dandelion Family [Asteraceae]

Flowers:
month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug

Pappus: pappusZpossible (white)
pappus8jul pappus8july pappus8aug pappus8sep pappus8sept pappus8oct

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8bicolour
flower
flower8lilac flower8pink flower8mauve
inner
inner8white
petals
petalsZMany
stem
stem8round
stem
stem8winged
stem
stem8spines stem8thorns
contact
contactZlowish

31st May 2007, south Walney Island, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Prefers growing near the sea. Branched, with thistle-heads atop each very spiny stem.


31st May 2007, south Walney Island, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
View of Piel Island, with Barrow behind. Slender Thistles on the shore-line just above high tide.


31st May 2007, south Walney Island, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Extremely prickly and spiny! Not for walking through wearing shorts!


16th June 2009, Little Orme, North Wales Coast. Photo: © RWD
Spiny stem covered in spiny leaves, and spiny welts. Flowers un-stalked in clusters of 3 to 10.


16th June 2009, Little Orme, North Wales Coast. Photo: © RWD
Flowers pale pink to purple.


16th June 2009, Little Orme, North Wales Coast. Photo: © RWD
Sepals around the flower are tapered to a sharp point, and curve outwards in whorls.


31st May 2007, south Walney Island, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
There is nowhere to hold this extremely prickly plant without getting punctured.


31st May 2007, south Walney Island, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Outwardly curved sharply pointed yellowing green sepals. Inner sepals purple tipped. Disc florets not yet emerged.


16th June 2009, Little Orme, North Wales Coast. Photo: © RWD
Between the sharp spines is a cobweb of white threads


16th June 2009, Little Orme, North Wales Coast. Photo: © RWD
Winged stems are actually welted, with the welt twisting one way then the other sinusoidally. Welts and stems have white cobweb hairs too.


31st May 2007, south Walney Island, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Basal rosette of leaves of a young specimen.


31st May 2007, south Walney Island, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Milky-green leaves also covered in a thin veil of white cobweb-like threads, not to mention the spines on the well-toothed edges.


Easily mis-identified as : Plymouth Thistle but that has less spiny stems as well as only 1 to 3 flowers in a cluster (as opposed to 3 - 10) and the flowers are stalked. However, Plymouth thistle is un-likely to be found anywhere but in Plymouth!

Can be mistaken for: Marsh Thistle because that also has flower-heads that seem to have no stalks, but the flowers are either much more deeper purple, or white with purple tips.

Some similarities to : Creeping Thistle but that has more lilac flowers, which are stalked.

Slender Thistle does not hybridize with any other thistle.


  Carduus tenuiflorus  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Asteraceae  

Distribution
 family8Daisy & Dandelion family8Asteraceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Carduus
Carduus
(Thistles)

SLENDER THISTLE

Carduus tenuiflorus

Daisy & Dandelion Family [Asteraceae]

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