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Great Britain

Set B2 - Wild Flowers - card information

20. Spear Thistle
(Cirsium vulgare (Savi) Ten.)

20. Spear Thistle

This is the most spiny of our common thistles, and one of the largest. Its spreading branches often reaching a height of five feet. Stiff sharp spines grow from the wings on the stem, from the edges of the leaves and from the bracts of the flower-head. The pale purple flowers, which continue from July to October, are visited by many kinds of insects, while in autumn and winter the seeds in the feathery pappus are attractive to goldfinches.