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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.

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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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