Spear Thistle

March 10th, 2012

Latin:  Cirsium vulgare

Irish:  Feochadán colgach

This is a robust native biennial with a stout stem that has prickly wings and grows to a height of 70-150cm.

The leaves are wavy and deeply lobed and the upper surface is rough with short prickles.  The underside is white and cottony.  The lobes and the end of the leaf carry a stout prickle.

Flower heads (25-30mm across) are produced in late June and the florets are deep purple.

This is probably the plant adopted as a national emblem by Scottish kings.

Specimens can be seen in the Builder’s Paddock from late June.

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