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Carlina vulgaris, the Common Carline Thistle, is a very beautiful thistle native to continental Europe and Asia. In most cases it grows on dry limestone soils, especially in Southern Germany and the Alpine region.
Its German name is Golddistel (Gold Thistle), or Kleine Eberwurz (literally 'Lesser Boar Root' ). Together with its sister species, the Silberdistel (Silver Thistle, Carlina acaulis), they are famous for indicating the weather - since the flowers react on the humidity of the air.
Both species of Carline Thistles are quite often collected as a souvenir.