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Annual Biennial

Cirsium vulgare

spear thistle

A handsome biennial that rises to a metre in height, the spear thistle bears spiny stems and pinnately lobed, pointed leaves. Thistle flowers bloom singly or in clusters from midsummer through to early autumn

Other common names
bank thistle
bird thistle
see moreblue thistle
boar thistle
bull thistle
bur thistle
button thistle
horse thistle
plume thistle
Synonyms
Cirsium lanceolatum
Carduus lanceolatus
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Size
Ultimate height
1–1.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
1–2 years
Ultimate spread
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
pH
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Purple Green
Autumn Green
Winter Green
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

Exposure
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Asteraceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Columnar upright
Genus

Cirsium may be biennials or perennials with spiny leaves and typical thistle-type flower-heads

Name status

Correct

Plant range
N hemisphere

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How to grow

Cultivation

Naturally occurs in grassland and disturbed ground

Propagation

Classed as a harmful weed (to agriculture), so must not be planted in the wild or be allowed to spread to agricultural land

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Wildflower meadow
Pruning

None required

Pests

Trouble-free

Diseases

Trouble-free

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