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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Scotch Thistle

Afrikaans name: Disseldoring

Scotch Thistle

Photo © Steven Herbert

Cirsium vulgare

The Scotch Thistle, also known as a Spear Thistle, is a well-known plant. As most people know, it was introduced from the northern hemisphere and it is not indigenous to South Africa. In fact it is a highly invasive species and it is illegal to grow them in this country.

Scotch Thistles have a rugged beauty about them. The attractive purple flowers emerge from spiky bracts.

These plants can sometimes reach a height of 2 metres.

Livestock do not eat this plant so, in heavily grazed areas, it is normally the only plant left.


References and further reading

Illustrated Guide to the Wildflowers of Northern South Africa - Author: Gerrit Germishuizen & Brenda Clarke - Year Published: 2003 - Page: 185

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