Carduus tenuiflorus

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaAsteraceaeCarduusCarduus tenuiflorus


An annual or biennial herb of dry, coastal grasslands, sea-bird colonies, sea-walls, upper edges of beaches, sandy waste ground and roadsides. Inland, it occurs on well-drained soils, often, but not always, as an alien. Lowland.



World Distribution

Suboceanic Southern-temperate element.

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 8

Moisture (Ellenberg): 4

Reaction (Ellenberg): 7

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 4


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 4.6

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.4

Annual Precipitation (mm): 892

Life form information

Height (cm): 75

Perennation - primary

Biennial, including monocarpic perennials

Perennation - secondary


Life Form - primary


Life Form - secondary

Therophyte (annual land plant)

Comment on Life Form

Butcher (1961) regards it as a biennial; CTW as annual or biennial



Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 449

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 132

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 14

Atlas Change Index: -0.14

Weighted Changed Factor: -9

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.

Atlas text references