TF7511 : Stemless thistle (Cirsium acaule)

taken 10 years ago, near to Narborough, Norfolk, Great Britain

Stemless thistle (Cirsium acaule)
Stemless thistle (Cirsium acaule)
The Dwarf thistle can be found growing on short, calcareous grasslands. It is a perennial herb with its spiny leaves forming a spreading rosette. There is usually only one flower head, although there can sometimes be 2 or 3. They flower from June to September. This specimen was photographed at the Norfolk Wildlife Trust Railway Line Nature Reserve > LinkExternal link which covers a section of the former King's Lynn to Dereham line that formed part of the Great Eastern Railway. The Lynn & Dereham Railway, which weaved a 42 kilometre route to East Dereham via Narborough and Swaffham, was opened in stages between 1846 and 1848. The line to Dereham closed in 1968. Part of it is now a Norfolk Wildlife Trust Railway Line Nature Reserve, with the car park being situated about one kilometre south of Narborough village. The unique strip of chalk grassland here was created when engineers who built the railway line exposed the underlying chalk as they dug a borrow pit to build up the embankment.

The railway embankment is home to chalk grassland species which would have been widespread in the surrounding fields when the line was built but by now the original grasslands have disappeared under the plough and this narrow strip of railway embankment is all that remains. It is one of the richest and most diverse chalk grasslands in Norfolk.
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TF7511, 30 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Monday, 29 August, 2011   (more nearby)
Monday, 29 August, 2011
Geographical Context
Paths  Grassland  Railways 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TF 7521 1150 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:40.3728N 0:35.3971E
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TF 7519 1149
View Direction
East-northeast (about 67 degrees)
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