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Melancholy Thistle

Cirsium heterophyllum

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.

Plant Data

Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
Order:
Asterales
Family:
Asteraceae (Daisy)
Also in this family:
Annual Sunflower, Autumn Hawkbit, Beaked Hawksbeard, Black Knapweed, Black-eyed Susan, Blanketflower, Blue Fleabane, Blue Globe-thistle, Bristly Oxtongue, Butterbur, Buttonweed, Canadian Fleabane, Canadian Goldenrod, Carline Thistle, Chalk Knapweed, Coltsfoot, Common Blue Sow-thistle, Common Cat's-ear, Common Daisy, Common Dandelion, Common Fleabane, Common Goldenrod, Common Groundsel, Common Michaelmas Daisy, Common Mugwort, Common Ragwort, Confused Michaelmas Daisy, Corn Marigold, Cornflower, Creeping Thistle, Dwarf Thistle, Early Goldenrod, Feverfew, Fox and Cubs, Gallant Soldier, Garden Lettuce, Goat's Beard, Great Lettuce, Greater Burdock, Greater Knapweed, Grey-headed Hawkweed, Heath Groundsel, Hemp Agrimony, Hoary Ragwort, Lavender-cotton, Leopardsbane, Lesser Burdock, Lesser Hawkbit, Marsh Cudweed, Marsh Ragwort, Marsh Thistle, Mexican Fleabane, Mountain Everlasting, Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Musk Thistle, Narrow-leaved Ragwort, New England Hawkweed, Nipplewort, Oxeye Daisy, Oxford Ragwort, Perennial Cornflower, Perennial Sow-thistle, Pineapple Mayweed, Ploughman's Spikenard, Pot Marigold, Prickly Lettuce, Prickly Sow-thistle, Red-seeded Dandelion, Rough Hawkbit, Scented Mayweed, Scentless Mayweed, Sea Aster, Sea Mayweed, Seaside Daisy, Shaggy Soldier, Shasta Daisy, Shrub Ragwort, Silver Ragwort, Smooth Hawksbeard, Smooth Sow-thistle, Sneezeweed, Sneezewort, Spear Thistle, Spotted Cat's-ear, Sticky Groundsel, Tansy, Trifid Bur-marigold, Tyneside Leopardplant, Wall Lettuce, White Buttons, Winter Heliotrope, Wood Burdock, Yarrow
Type:
Flower
Life Cycle:
Perennial
Maximum Size:
120 centimetres tall
Habitats:
Ditches, farmland, fens, grassland, marshes, meadows, riverbanks, riversides, roadsides, swamps, waterside, woodland.

Flower:
֍
Purple, many petals
 
Purple flowers between 3 and 5cm across. The flowers are normally solitary. The bracts are usually hairless and purple-tipped. They are broad to lanceolate in shape. 5 stamens.
Fruit:
A long, blunt, flattish achene, up to 5mm long. The fruit is tipped by white, feathery hairs.
Leaves:
A clump-forming, perennial herb with lance-shaped, alternate, green leaves, narrowing towards the stem. The toothed or untoothed, upper leaves clasp their stems. The basal rosette of leaves are sometimes pinnately lobed. The leaves are hairless above and covered in a white, cottony down below. The leaf edges are softly prickly. The leaves reach 20cm in length. The stout stems are grooved and are neither winged or spiny. The stems are also cottony.
Other Names:
Curly Head.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  
Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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