If you would like to read my Dorset nature notes about any of these featured species or sites please click on the post title

About Me

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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!

22 July, 2010

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.