Sweden wildflowers: Creeping Thistle

Cirsium arvense, Serratula arvensis, SE: Åkertistel,
DE: Acker-Kratzdistel, NL: Akkerdistel, UK: Creeping Thistle, Canada thistle

Scientific name:  Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop.
Synonym name:  , Serratula arvensis L.
Swedish name:   Åkertistel
German name:  Acker-Kratzdistel
Nederlandse naam:  Akkerdistel
English name:  Creeping Thistle, Canada thistle
Plant Family:  Compositae / Asteraceae, Korgblommiga växter, Sunflower family

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Life form:  Perennial plants having creeping, deep roots
Stems:  Height: 40–120 cm, erect, branched, furrowed, spineless, unwinged and more often with glabrous or cobwebby pubescence under calathidia (capitula)
Leaves:  Alternate, oblong to lanceolate, lobed, up to 15–20 cm long and 2–3 cm broad, very spiny
Flowers:  Plants are male or female (dioecious), numerous, small, unisexual, pale lilac-flowered heads, 1-5/branch, 15-25mm high, male heads globular, slightly smaller than the flask-shaped female heads; involucral bracts subtending the heads (florets) are not spine-tipped, often purplish
Flowering Period:  July, August, September
Fruits:  Cypsela, yellowish-brown, flattened, smooth, 3–4 mm long, crowned by a pappus of branched, feathery, 2–3 cm long hairs
Habitat:  Throughout the country, fields, meadows, pasture

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Derivation of the botanical name:
Cirsium, from the Greek word kirsos, "swollen vein". Thistles were used as a remedy against swollen veins.
arvense, arvum (field) and refers to the species commonly grows in fields.
  • The standard author abbreviation L. is used to indicate Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, the father of modern taxonomy.
  • The standard author abbreviation Scop. is used to indicate Giovanni Antonio Scopoli (1723 – 1788), an Italian physician and naturalist.
Cirsium arvense attracts both floral herbivores and pollinators; the foliage is used as a food by over 20 species of Lepidoptera, including the Vanessa cardui (Painted Lady butterfly) and the Ectropis crepuscularia (Engrailed), a species of moth, and several species of aphids (plant lice).

Cirsium arvense, Serratula arvensis, Åkertistel, Acker-Kratzdistel, Akkerdistel, Creeping Thistle, Canada thistle


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