Species: Spear Thistle (Cirsium vulgare)

Family: Asters (ASTERACEAE or COMPOSITAE)

Category: Flowering Plants

Location: NW

A. Flowering Plants

More extensive information on flowering plants can be found in a separate blog post.

B. Asters (ASTERACEAE or COMPOSITAE)

This is one of the largest worldwide flowering plant families and is well represented in the UK. The name Compositae refers to the clustering of the flowers (called florets) into compact heads, so that an entire cluster represents a single 'flower'. They also have one-seeded fruits called achenes.

C. Spear Thistle (Cirsium vulgare)

This solitary thistle has sharply spiny leaves ending with a 'spear'. The deep magenta flowers appear in July. The centre of the flowerhead is edible and has a nutty flavour.

Images

Spear Thistle

Spear Thistle is a solitary thistle that has sharply spiny leaves ending with a 'spear'.

Spear Thistle

You could be forgiven for thinking that Spear Thistle could be called Mace Thistle by virtue of its spikey flower head. It just isn't!

Spear Thistle

The Spear Thistle is a member of the Aster family, one of the largest worldwide flowering plant families, well represented in the UK.

Spear Thistle

The centre of the flowerhead is edible and has a nutty flavour.

Spear Thistle

The deep magenta flowers of Spear Thistle appear in July.