Spear Thistle is a
biennial plant of the UK, typically found growing in grassland and waste ground, to a mature height of up to 150cm.
The Spear Thistle is named after its hostile-looking leaves, which are long and pointed with narrow lobes at right-angles, each terminating in a sharp spine. It has spherical green spiky flowerheads, topped by a wide plume of purple ray petals.
Botanic classification and naming: Spear Thistle is a member of the Daisy (Asteraceae) family. The genus name
'Cirsium' identifies the plant as a Thistle and its species name 'vulgare' means 'common species'.
Concerns: Listed as an 'injurious weed' under the Weeds Act 1959, meaning it is considered harmful to agriculture.
Benefits: Spear Thistle flowers provide a rich source of nectar for insects and its seeds provide a food source for Goldfinches.
Benefits to wildlife are also indicated with orange icons in the plant profile bar at the top.