Creeping Thistle

Cirsium arvense

Creeping Thistle

There are many varieties of thistle which you may find in your garden. The creeping thistle is a voracious weed which will take over if allowed. Be sure to dig it out as it appears but watch out for the sharp stems. Try and avoid breaking the root as a new plant will grow but it will be weaker and will be easier to remove.

Spreading roots mean that the thistles form large clumps of spiny jaggy leaves and pink/purple flowering stems ranging from 30cm-1m (1ft-3¼ft) in height on mainly grassland.


Creeping Thistle leaves are wavy and spiny. They generally less fleshy and pale green compared with other thistles.


Creeping Thistle leaves


Dark pinky-purple flowers typical of the thistle family are borne July to September. Like most thistles, it produces masses of fluffy wind-borne seeds in late summer.


Creeping Thistle flower

Preferred Habitat

Creeping thistle is a common sight in fields, roadsides as well as in gardens.

Weed Control

Once established, it can be difficult to eradicate permanently. You may find that repeated digging out of roots reduces the problem, but chemical control will provide a quicker solution.

Not Just a Weed

Young thistle leaves are edible and remarkably tasty. Individual leaves can be rolled up to smash the spines and eaten like that, or placed whole on sandwiches.

The root is tonic, diuretic, astringent, antiphlogistic and hepatic. It has been chewed as a remedy for toothache.

The thistle is the national flower of Scotland.


Search Weedipedia

Welcome to Weedipedia...

At Vialii, we are strong proponents of organic gardening and try to avoid weedkiller if we can. To many people, weeds are wonderful things, whether they are grown as pretty wildflowers or for their health benefits. But we understand they can be frustrating in gardens so our Weedipedia pages detail our most common weeds, how to identify & get rid of them but also their benefits too. If you need help getting rid of your own weeds please get in touch. 

Common Weeds

Sticky Willy

Goose Grass, Sticky Willy

Often remembered from childhood, goose grass or sticky willy has clinging hairs on its leaves, stem and seeds which stick...

Mares Tail

Horse or Mares Tail

One of the most dreaded of weeds, Mares Tail can spread like wildfire so if you see it, deal with...


Larger Bindweed, Hedge Bindweed

Bindweed is a notorious, perennial weed which no gardener wants to find in their garden as its so hard to...



Chickweed is one of the most common of weeds with the most delicate tiny white star-shaped flowers hence its Latin...

Creeping buttercup

Creeping Buttercup

Creeping buttercup is a common perennial weed with low-lying foliage that forms mats. Its instantly recognisable glossy yellow flowers appear...

Share the love...Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
Share on email