Cirsium vulgare

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaAsteraceaeCirsiumCirsium vulgare


A monocarpic perennial occurring in a wide array of habitats, including overgrazed pastures and rough grassland, sea-cliffs, dunes, drift lines and well-drained, fertile, disturbed habitats including arable fields, spoil heaps, waste ground and burnt areas in woodland. 0-685 (Breadalbanes, Mid Perth), and exceptionally at 845 m on Great Dun Fell (Westmorland).



World Distribution

Eurosiberian Temperate element; widely naturalised outside its native range.

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 7

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 6

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 6

Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.5

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1103

Height (cm): 150

Perennation - primary

Biennial, including monocarpic perennials

Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2789

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 980

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 14

Atlas Change Index: 0.8

Weighted Changed Factor: -44

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


JNCC Designations


Atlas text references

Atlas (288c)
Grime JP, Hodgson JG, Hunt R
1988.  Comparative Plant Ecology.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Klinkhamer PGL, de Jong TG
1993.  Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 176. Cirsium vulgare (Savi) Ten. Journal of Ecology. 81:177-191.
Meusel H, Jäger EJ
1992.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 3. 2 vols.