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Annual Biennial

Carduus nutans

musk thistle [2]

The musk thistle is distinctive for its large drooping flower heads that are borne singlyfrom June to August. These are purple, 3-5cm across and are without ray florets. The plant is an upright biennial with downy stalks that have spiny wings, but are spine-free just below the flower head. These heads are surrounded by a collar of pink flower bracts

Other common names
buck thistle
dog thistle
see morebank thistle [2]

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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
1 year
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green Grey Silver
Summer Purple Green Grey Silver
Autumn Green Grey Silver
Winter Green Grey Silver
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

Exposure
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Asteraceae
Native to the UK
Yes
Foliage
Semi evergreen
Habit
Bushy
Name status

Correct

Plant range
Eurasia

How to grow

Cultivation

Occurs naturally in dry, grassy places including verges and dunes, especially on calcareous soils

Propagation

Propagate by seed

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Wildflower meadow
Pruning

None required

Pests

Trouble-free

Diseases

Trouble-free

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