Carduus crispus

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaAsteraceaeCarduusCarduus crispus


A biennial herb of woodland margins, ditch-banks, damp hedge bottoms, streamsides, tall grassland, roadsides, railway banks and waste places, especially on clay soils with a high nutrient status. In Ireland, it is confined as a native to dry banks and waste places. Generally lowland, but reaching 365 m above Castleton (Derbys.).



World Distribution

Eurosiberian Temperate element, but widely naturalised so that distribution is now Circumpolar Temperate.

© P. Shannon

Broad Habitats

Boundary and linear features (eg hedges, roadsides, walls)

Light (Ellenberg): 7

Moisture (Ellenberg): 4

Reaction (Ellenberg): 8

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 7


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.4

Annual Precipitation (mm): 832

Life form information

Height (cm): 135

Perennation - primary

Biennial, including monocarpic perennials

Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1464

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 58

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 1

Atlas Change Index: -0.18

Weighted Changed Factor: -4

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.