West Highland Flora

Melancholy Thistle


Cirsium heterophyllum

Older name: Cirsium helenioides

Cirsium heterophyllum

Photo Carl Farmer
14 Jul 2003 Portree, Skye
Flowerhead c 5 cm wide incl outermost rays
 

Occasional on roadsides, heathery moorland and damp grassland.

Flowerhead diameter c 3-5 cm

ID: Leaves edged with soft spines but do not feel prickly like other thistles, and are white beneath.

Other features: Base leaves long-stalked, upper stem leaves stalkless and surrounding stem with large basal lobes (auricles).  Stems unwinged and without spines.

 

Cirsium heterophyllum

Photo Carl Farmer
19 May 2002 Scorrybreac, Skye

  Cirsium heterophyllum

Photo Carl Farmer
25 Sep 2001 Portree, Skye

Above: Leaves showing white underside

Left: Flower-bud and upper stem leaves with
auricles clasping stem

 

 

Cirsium heterophyllum

Photo Carl Farmer
14 Jul 2003 Portree, Skye

  Cirsium heterophyllum

Photo Carl Farmer
14 Jul 2003 Portree, Skye

 

Cirsium heterophyllum

Photo Carl Farmer
18 Jun 2004 Portree, Skye
Middle, upright flower c 3.75 cm across

  Cirsium heterophyllum

Photo Carl Farmer
18 Jun 2004 Portree, Skye
 

This extraordinary plant had 5 flowerheads instead of the normal one, and leaves deeply divided.  Full details are on http://www.nature-diary.co.uk/2004-06-17.htm


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