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Also known as Dwarf Carline or Silver thistle, this is a perennial flowering plant in the family Asteraceae, native to alpine regions of central and southern Europe. Spiky leaves radiating from central dome, the plant grows up to half-metre. Flowers large, 12-15 cm in diameter, and creamy white; and flowers between June and September. In photos, flowers are shown in various stages of maturity; their final aspect shown in No4.
Found on rocky slopes around the lake (lake des Rousses) in Jura Mountains range (Jura Mountains Regional Natural Park).
According to mountain lore, when thistles flowers are closed, you can expect bad weather. On the contrary, when flowers open up... The plant has many recognized medicinal uses ranging from disinfectant to laxative. It can also be eaten, much like artichoke - commonly by frying young flower buds.