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

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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!

27 August, 2010

Carline Thistle (Carlina vulgaris)

Walk on the cliffs of Dorset or on the Purbeck Ridge at this time of year and you will almost certainly see a good number of these curious thistles. They may look they are the dying flowers of a daisy or thistle going to seed but these, are in fact, how they look when in full flower.

The Carline Thistle is quite common on chalk grassland everywhere in the southern half of Britain but it can be overlooked because it just looks dead! On closer examination, especially in bright sunshine, the flower glistens in silver and gold.

Identifying thistles is not easy! But out of the fifteen or so species you may encounter this one at least is quite distinctive.