Flora of Northern Ireland
  • Cirsium heterophyllum (L.) Hill - Melancholy Thistle
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Cirsium heterophyllum
© Ralph Forbes
Cirsium heterophyllum
© Ralph Forbes
Cirsium heterophyllum
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(Map updated: March 2008)
 

The Melancholy Thistle gets its name from the way the solitary flower-head hangs downwards at the top of its tall unbranched stem. The large leaves are very white underneath and scarcely prickly. It is locally frequent in northern Great Britain, but in Ireland is confined to moist grassland in County Fermanagh where it was first discovered in the 1940s. (The map also shows one site where the plant has been found as a garden escape or deliberately sown.)

All names: Cirsium heterophyllum (L.) Hill; Cirsium helenioides auct. non (L.) Hill; Carduus heterophyllus L.; Cnicus heterophyllus (L.) Roth