Creeping thistle Cirsium arvense


Best time to see: mid Jun to mid Oct

Key facts

The commonest thistle, found in meadows, along road verges and in any neglected spot, up to 2m tall

No spines on the stem, but spiny leaves, sometimes cottony underneath; clusters of lilac flowers from mid-June onward

Spreads both by fluffy airborne seeds and by underground shoots, forming dense stands in rough grassland

  • Main photo

Photo © Tony Gunton