This is a very attractive wildflower which is commonly found in dry grassy places throughout the country, blooming from July to late September. It is a tall perennial which has pretty, flattish heads of blue-lilac flowers (30-40mm) which are borne on branched, wiry, purple-spotted stems. The outer flowers are larger than the inner ones and the stamens add to the beauty of the plant by standing upright, making the flower look like a blue pin-cushion. The lower leaves are pinnately lobed, the upper being smaller and less divided. This is a native plant belonging to the family Dipsacaceae.
I first recorded this plant at Killiney, Co Dublin in 1976 and photographed it at Killoughter, Co Wicklow in 2004.
If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre