Common thistle (Dipsacus sylvestris)
Common thistle forms first year after the germination an overwintering leaf rosette where on the second year will grow erect tall plant with side branches. Foliage is bright green, prickly on lower mid-ribs, the stem leaves joined at the base to cup the stem. Flowerheads, to 6cm long, are stiffly bristly from the projecting calyx spines. The flowers are tiny and blue, appearing in a band round the flowerhead over an extended flowering time. Plant remains intact throughout winter, and seedheads attract goldfinches.
Winterhardy biennial ornamental plant.
Height 120-200 cm
Width 50-60 cm
Spacing 40-50 cm (5 pc/m2)
Flowering time VII-VIII
Site sunny, dry to moist rich soil
Container size C2