Creeping Thistle is a
perennial plant of the UK, typically found growing in meadows, cropland and waste ground, to a mature height of up to 100cm.
The Creeping Thistle is named after the 'creeping' habit of its roots, which make it invasive and an unwelcome plant on agricultural land. Creeping Thistle is distinguished from other thistles by its clusters of scaly purplish-brown flowerheads, narrowing toward the tip, topped by a fairly short plume of splayed lilac ray petals. It has tough, glossy and wavy-edged spiny leaves.
Botanic classification and naming: Creeping Thistle is a member of the Daisy (Asteraceae) family. The genus name
'Cirsium' identifies the plant as a Thistle and its species name 'arvense' means 'field plant'.
Concerns: Listed as an 'injurious weed' under the Weeds Act 1959, meaning it is considered harmful to agriculture.
Benefits: Willow Beauty moths feed on the flowers of the Creeping Thistle at night. The plant's seed also provides a food source for birds.
Benefits to wildlife are also indicated with orange icons in the plant profile bar at the top.