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Carduus tenuiflorus facts for kids

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Carduus tenuiflorus
Carduus tenuiflorus1.jpg
Scientific classification

Carduus tenuiflorus, known variously as slender-flower thistle, sheep thistle, shore thistle, slender thistle, winged plumeless thistle, winged slender thistle, and winged thistle) is a species of thistle.

It is native to Europe and North Africa. It is well known on other continents, where it is an introduced species and noxious weed.


Carduus tenuiflorus is native to western North Africa in: northern Algeria; Morocco; and Tunisia, and much of Europe in: Belgium; France, including Corsica; Ireland; Italy, including Sardinia and Sicily; the Netherlands; Portugal, Spain, including the Baleares (Balearic Islands); and the United Kingdom.


Carduus tenuiflorus may exceed 2 metres (6.6 ft) in height. Its tall stem is ridged with wings and has long spines which may be several centimeters in length. The dull olive-green leaves are lobed and wrinkled and may fold and crease themselves.

The inflorescences may hold up to 20 flower heads which are somewhat rounded, covered in wide, spiny phyllaries, and packed with pale pink to bright purple long-tubed disc florets. This is a tenacious weed of roadsides, fields, and disturbed areas.

Introduced species

It has become naturalised in Macaronesia, South Africa, India, Australasia, Southern South America, regions of the United States, and elsewhere. It is an invasive species in California.

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