Family: Asteraceae Bercht. et J. Presl

Carlina acaulis

Distribution: Central, Eastern and Southern Europe – from Northern Spain to European Russia.

Ecology: Grows scattered in dry pastures, on stony slopes and in forest edges, from lowlands to mountains. It flowers from June to September.

Description: Perennial herb with a very short stem, only 1–3 cm tall. The leaves in a basal rosette are pinnate-lobed and spiny toothed. Capitula solitary, 25–60 mm in diameter, outer involucral bracts leaf-like, inner ones linear, upper surface silvery glossy, underside yellowish, in sunshine widely expanded, in wet weather rolled tightly closed. The florets are tubular, whitish or reddish. The fruit is an achene with hairs.

Note: The roots are used medicinally. In countries where the plant grows wildly the fleshy receptacle is eaten as a vegetable.

Carlina acaulisCarlina acaulis
Carlina acaulisCarlina acaulis

These images were taken in Czechia, Silesia, Hrubý Jeseník; Moravia, Malhostovická pecka and Brno, Hády (July 10 and September 19, 2003).