Carduncellus mitissimus

Scientific Name: Carduncellus mitissimus

English Name: None

French Name: In this area the 'official' French name is Cardoncelle doux, but it is also called Cardoncelle molle, Cardoncelle sans ├ępines, Mitine, Petit chardon sans ├ępines, or Cardoncelle mou, depending on which region you are in.

5 Key Characters:
  • Basal rosette of more or less stemless leaves.
  • A single blue thistle like flower rises from the centre of the leaf rosette.
  • Flower stem usually about 20 cm, but can be much less, sometimes only 1 - 2 cm.
  • Found on dry grassy calcareous slopes.
  • Only found on a few sites in the area covered by this blog.
Lookalikes: Dwarf Thistle Cirsium acaule, which has prickly leaves and bright reddish purple flowers, usually on very short stalks. It also tends to flower slightly later, up to September. Common Globularia Globularia vulgaris, which has much less divided, brighter green leaves.

Habitat: Dry grasslands and calcareous slopes.

Flowering Period: April-May-June-July.

Status: This is a Mediterranean plant on the northern edge of its range. In this area it is rare, occuring on a handful of sites in Indre et Loire (37) - including one within 5km of Preuilly-sur-Claise - and a couple in Indre (36). It probably isn't any more common in Vienne (86).

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:

Photographs numbered from left to right and top to bottom. 1 La Forge, on a limestone ridge, almost finished flowering due to hot dry weather in May.

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