Common on roadsides and uncultivated land is a rather striking ghostly grey green plant, with stiff needle tipped leaves as spiky as any thistle. It's called Field Eryngo in English and le Panicaut champêtre in French. The scientific name is Eryngium campestre. It's not related to thistles at all, but to carrots and parsnips.
The plants emerge during the spring and by late summer are perhaps 40cm high and flowering, contrasting with the surrounding grass both by their pallor and their rigidity. The flowers are held in balls above decorative ruffs of spiny bracts and attract nectar seeking insects such as this Burnet Companion Euclidia glyphica moth (la Doublure jaune in French) above.