Cirsium spp. Mill.
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)
Ten species of thistles are found in Texas. One of the more common species, Texas thistle (C. texanum), is a prickly, tap-rooted annual that reaches 3 to 5 feet tall.
Each plant begins growth as a rosette, or a circular cluster of leaves, during the winter and sends up a flowering stalk in the spring. The leaves are extremely spiny and located alternately along the stems. In some species, the leaf bottom may be woolly with small hairs.
Showy purple flowers occur in late spring and summer and mature into a white plume. The seeds scatter profusely in the wind.
Although the forage value of thistles is poor for livestock and wildlife, seed-eating birds feed on the seeds of many thistles.
Thistles are common in dry or moist soils throughout Texas. They thrive in disturbed or overgrazed areas, in abandoned fields and along roadsides.
Flower Color: Purple
Seed Type: Non-Encapsulated
Stem Texture: Hairy
Growth Habit: Forbs/Broadleaf
Distribution : 01 - Pineywoods, 02 - Gulf Prairies and Marshes, 03 - Post Oak Savannah, 04 - Blackland Prairies, 05 - Cross Timbers and Prairies, 06 - South Texas Plains, 07 - Edwards Plateau, 08 - Rolling Plains, 09 - High Plains, 10 - Trans-Pecos
Distribution refers to the ecological region in Texas that a plant has been found. You can also view a clickable map.
Book: Brush and Weeds of Texas Rangelands (B-6208)
Collection: Brush and Weeds