SPECIES DESCRIPTION
CIRSIUM CRETICUM subsp. CRETICUM     

Family:- COMPOSITAE/Sect. CIRSIUM

Common Name:- None

Synonyms:- Cirsium polyanthemum

Meaning:- Cirsium (Gr) The ancient Greek name for thistle.
                  Creticum (L) From Crete, Cretan.

General description:- Medium to tall perennial with some fusiform roots.

Stem:-
1) 50-100(-120) cm, Much-branched above the middle, spiny-winged up to the apex.

Leaves:-
1) Narrowly oblong to linear-lanceolate, pinnatifid to pinnatisect (rarely entire,
    dentate); segments linear-triangular, divaricately lobed; sparsely arachnoid or
    subglabrous above, grey-tomentose beneath, with sharp marginal spines.

Flowers:-
1) Capitula numerous, solitary or in small clusters, erect.
2) Involucre c. 15 mm, broadly cylindrical. outer with a pungent spine 05-2 mm;
    middle, with a weak spine 0-1(-2) mm.
3) Corolla (10-)14-17 mm, purple.
 
Fruit:-
1) Achenes 25-35 mm.
2) Pappus 10-13 mm.

Key features:-
1) Leaves without rigid setae on upper the surface. pubescent to villous above,
    sparsely  arachnoid lanate to -tomentose beneath.
2) Stem leafy up to the apex. with spiny wings, at least in the basal half.
3) Involucral bracts without vittae.

Click here for a glossary of terms used.

Habitat:- Ditches, lake margins, springs, marshy meadows. 0-1200 m.

Distribution:- Throughout Greece. widespread in the Mediterranean area and SW
Asia. Widespread on Crete but not common.

Flowering time:-  Late Apr to Sept, sometimes to Nov.

Photos by:- Steve Lenton