Scientific Classifications explained
» Fungi & Lichens
» Leaf Mines
» Wild Flowers
UK Nature > Wild Flowers > Red & Pink Wild Flowers >
Common Name(s): Creeping Thistle
Scientific Name: Cirsium arvense
Cirsium arvense is a species of Cirsium, native throughout Europe and northern Asia, and widely introduced elsewhere. The standard English name in its native area is Creeping Thistle. It is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to between 30cm and 100cm in height, forming extensive clonal colonies from rhizomes that send up numerous erect stems each spring. The stems are green, smooth and glabrous (having no trichomes or glaucousness), mostly without spiny wings. The leaves are very spiny, lobed, up to 15–20 cm long and 2–3 cm broad (smaller on the upper part of the flower stem). The inflorescence is 10–22 mm diameter, pink-purple, with all the florets of similar form (no division into disc and ray florets). The flowers are usually dioecious, but not invariably so, with some plants bearing hermaphrodite flowers. The seeds are 4–5 mm long, with a feathery pappus which assists in wind dispersal. The seeds are an important food for goldfinches and linnets, and to a lesser extent for other finches. Creeping thistle foliage is used as a food by over 20 species of Lepidoptera, including the painted lady butterfly and the engrailed, a species of moth, and several species of aphids; the flowers are visited by a wide variety of insects.
www.uknature.co.uk is a website dedicated to showing the immense diversity of UK nature and wildlife. Our vast range of habitats, from lowland arable to snow covered mountains, from storm-ravaged coastlines to peaceful inland freshwater lakes and rivers, from dry, sandy heaths to deciduous and coniferous forests, all these habitats contribute to the abundance of UK nature. We have wild birds in huge numbers either residing or visiting our shores (597 recorded species as at July 2013) and we must also not forget the humble back garden with its grass lawns, flower beds filled with nectar rich flowers, shrubs and trees, all designed to attract huge numbers of insects such as bees, moths, butterflies and hoverflies; and finally the small ponds which provide safe havens for frogs, toads, newts and even slow worms and grass snakes. www.uknature.co.uk is the showcase for my personal passion, photographing uknature in all its glory. I sincerely hope you all enjoy the fruits of my labours.
This site and all images contained therein is © Jeremy Lee 2004 - 2016. All Rights Reserved. Site design by DDS. Web Development by Stuart Lee at updownleftright.net