Belongs to: daisy family (composites)
Spear thistle Cirsium vulgare
Best time to see: mid Jul to mid Sep
An upright thistle of waste ground, with large reddish-purple flowers and very spiny leaves, sometimes over 2m. tall
Unlike the common creeping thistle, a perennial, this is a biennial, forming a rosette one year and flowering the next
Most likely candidate for the role of the scottish national emblem, the 'Scotch thistle'.
© Phil Luke
© Tony Gunton