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During today’s walk around Cosmeston I spotted a plant I’ve not seen before – or, at least, I’ve not consciously noticed before. It’s so easy to just walk over the things growing under your feet – although, in this case, if you were walking barefoot you couldn’t help but notice it!

190718 dwarf thistle (1)

It’s the Dwarf thistle (Cirsium acaule), and it’s easily identifiable as its single flower almost completely lacks a stem – the gorgeous purple flower sits right on top of a rosette of wavy and spiny edged leaves.

This thistle prefers to grow in low grasslands, particularly on calcareous soils, so it does tend to be quite localised but can be found in England as far north as Yorkshire and in south Wales.

190718 dwarf thistle (3)