WELTED THISTLE

Carduus crispus

Daisy & Dandelion Family [Asteraceae]  

Flowers:
month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8Aug month8sep month8sept

Pappus: pappusZpossible (white)
pappus8aug pappus8sep pappus8sept pappus8oct pappus8nov

status
statusZnative
 
flower
flower8purple
 
morph
morph8actino
 
petals
petalsZmany
 
stem
stem8round
 
stem
stem8winged
winged
stem
stem8spines stem8thorns
prickles
contact
contactZlowish
 

8th June 2007, Bowcombe Down, Carisbrooke, IOW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
A well-branched spiny thistle growing from 30cm to 1.2m (up to 1.5m).


8th June 2007, Bowcombe Down, Carisbrooke, IOW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Fewer leaves than most other thistles. The stems have a continuous narrow and wavy, spiny wings from bottom to very nearly the flowers at the top.


22nd Aug 2014, Four Marks, Hampshire. Photo: © Simon Melville
Leaves occur just beneath branches. They are spiny and wavy. [Some of the magenta flowers here are those of Great Willowherb].


8th June 2007, Bowcombe Down, Carisbrooke, IOW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
Flower heads magenta and globed, 15-20mm across and stalked, in small clusters of 2-4 (sometimes as few as 1 or as many as 5)


8th June 2007, Bowcombe Down, Carisbrooke, IOW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The stems are a little grey-white woolly, as are the threads between the spines (= bracts) immediately beneath the flowerhead. The bracts are variably washed a magenta hue.


11th Aug 2011, Cheverton Down, Shorewell, IOW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The redness of this flowerhead is false and due to the exposure. Corolla is about 14mm long. The flowers are magenta coloured and concolorous with the magenta-coloured 4-petalled flowers of Great Willowherb as seen below.


22nd Aug 2014, Four Marks, Hampshire. Photo: © Simon Melville
The wings on the stem may or may not be continous, but they occur over almost the entire length of the stems.


22nd Aug 2014, Four Marks, Hampshire. Photo: © Simon Melville
Wings on stem have almost regularly spaced clusters of larger wings with several spines each.


Hybridizes with : Musk Thistle. (Carduus nutans) to produce Carduus × stangii which is rare.

Some similarities to : Slender Thistle which also has spiny winged stems from foot to head, but the flowers are smaller and narrower (only 5-10mm across not counting the florets. The flowers are almost stalkless and in tight clusters of between 3 and 10 flowers. Slender Thistle is also usually shorter, at just 15 - 60cm and grows only near the sea.

The pappus has a plume of simple hairs. It is locally common, and found in the UK south of Edinburh, but mainly avoiding mountainous areas, the Cheshire Plain, Sussex, Kent, Devon and Cornwall and almost the whole of Wales. There is very little occurrence in Ireland. It grows in grassy places on fertile moist soils, preferring chalk or chalky boulder-clay. Found on field edges, verges, woodland rides, beside streams and on waste ground.


Crispin B is an IsoQuinoline alkaloid, which reputedly has anti-cancer properties iand is found in Welted Thistle.


  Carduus crispus  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Asteraceae  

Distribution
family8Daisy family8Dandelion  family8Asteraceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Carduus
Carduus
(Thistles)

WELTED THISTLE

Carduus crispus

Daisy & Dandelion Family [Asteraceae]  

WildFlowerFinder Homepage