Carlina vulgaris

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaAsteraceaeCarlinaCarlina vulgaris


A monocarpic perennial herb, typically occurring in well-grazed grassland on dry, infertile calcareous or base-rich soils, but also in more open habitats, including dry rock ledges, screes, quarry floors, coastal cliffs and sand dunes. 0-455 m (Haweswater, Westmorland).



World Distribution

Eurosiberian Temperate element.

Broad Habitats

Calcareous grassland (includes lowland and montane types)

Light (Ellenberg): 8

Moisture (Ellenberg): 4

Reaction (Ellenberg): 7

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.9

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.3

Annual Precipitation (mm): 947

Life form information

Height (cm): 50

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: 1131

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 243

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 10

Atlas Change Index: -0.85

Weighted Changed Factor: -20

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

Atlas (286d)
Greig-Smith J, Sagar GR
1981.  Biological causes of local rarity in Carlina vulgaris. The Biological Aspects of Rare Plant Conservation. :389-400.
Grime JP, Hodgson JG, Hunt R
1988.  Comparative Plant Ecology.
Hackney P
1992.  Stewart & Corry's Flora of the North-east of Ireland, edn 3.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Meusel H, Jäger EJ
1992.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 3. 2 vols.