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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

21 July, 2010

Marsh Thistle (Cirsium palustre)

The Marsh Thistle is another common member of the thistle genus which is mainly found, as the name implies, in marshes, damp meadows and grassland, by rivers and ponds, damp wood;and areas; indeed anywhere the soil is damp (some of the time at least).

This plant has a tall central stem (which is very prickly) from which other stems occasionally shoot out to the sides and the the end of each stem you get this tight cluster of small purple flowers, just a few in flower at any one time.

A common thistle across the county, it flowers from July to September. It is really distinctive once you recognise its main features.