Musk Thistle (Carduus nutans)

This is my favourite thistle. It has the most lovely soft purple pads which bumblebees just love to snuggle in to and gorge themselves on the nectar and pollen.

The Musk Thistle is also known as the Nodding Thistle because the head tilts over and then, as the breeze blows it nods, up and down. It is the turned down head that makes this species distinctive from the others.

A thistle that likes chalk downland and is relatively common on the Dorset Cliffs, the Purbeck Ridge and the inland chalk grasslands, but is a local species rather than a common one. Where it occurs it is frequent but is restricted in where it occurs.

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