Meadow Thistle

Cirsium dissectum

  1. Wildlife
  2. Wildflowers
  3. Meadow Thistle


A small slender thistle without spiny leaves and with a single flower head, usually found in damp meadows and grassland.

How to identify

Short to medium height with a single reddish purple flower head. The leaves are less prickly than most common thistles and often cling close to the stem.

Where to find it

Found largely in central and southern England and Wales and across Northern Ireland.


When to find it

  • June
  • July
  • August

How can people help

Meadow thistle is a plant of moist, unimproved grasslands, fast becoming a rare sight in the UK due to development, diffuse pollution or agricultural improvement. By being a member of your local Wildlife Trust you can help us protect our existing reserves, purchase new sites and advise landowners on how to sympathetically manage their hay meadows.

Species information

Common name
Meadow Thistle
Latin name
Cirsium dissectum
Flower heads 20-25mm across with only a single flowering head.