Onopordum acanthium   Cotton Thistle DD I?

Onopordum acanthium whole Onopordum acanthium whole

This distinctive thistle has been known in the British Isles since at least the 16th century and is presumed to be an introduction. It is typically a roadside casual and has typical purple thistle flower heads. This one at about 1.5 m is a small one because they can reach nearly 3m in height.

Perhaps a very Scottish looking flower head like this one might be expected to prefer the north but it doesn't. You are most likely to find this plant in the south and east of England with a few sites in Wales and Scotland but veryfew in Ireland.

South London, Sutton railway station car park, 30th June 2006

Added on 14th October 2006, updated 20th January 2011

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