), and It's over 6 feet (>1.8 m) tall at this time, and looking rather wilted today in the heat. spiny. The flower heads are shaped like compact purplish shaving brushes. resembles Cirsium discolor (Pasture Thistle) and more tolerant of shade than other thistles. Identification: Tall thistle is an erect, robust, biennial or short-lived perennial forb that rises on a single stem from a slightly thickened taproot and fibrous roots. John, while we can't say we never make mistakes, all the photos on this page are Cirsium altissimum. Description Appearance. An email address is required, but will not be posted—it will only be used for information exchange between the 2 of us (if needed) and will never be given to a 3rd party without your express permission. Tall Thistle (Cirsium altissimum) Later than the normal bloom for the Tall Thistle this late arrival is somewhat stunted. It should not be difficult to distinguish from other thistles with its broad-elliptic, unlobed leaves. The Creeping thistle will grow in all manner of waste-ground, grasslands, verges and field edges. Thistle Aphid); The prickly sow-thistle, Sonchus asper, is similar but its leaves are generally greener and with sharper spines. Leaf bases extend down onto stems and form spiny wings along the stems 6. Faunal Each Now that my few thistles are blooming, I see that they do match up with C. discolor. The leaf they have dense mats of white-woolly hairs. Seeds: A single plant can produce up to 120,000 seeds annually, with seeds remaining viable in the soil up to 5 years. Associations: Its stalks are smooth, green, branched, and mostly lack spikes. flowerhead has a multitude of small disk florets that are pink to Your Name: (Swamp Metalmark) and Vanessa American Goldfinch also uses thistle-down to line its nests (Martin et Helen, it is possible you have the more common field thistle, Cirsium discolor. In Minnesota it has a patchy distribution in the lower two-thirds of the state and is never common. Also like dandelions, the wind blows the light seeds so they continue to spread … Thistles have all disc flowers that are shaped into long tubes. palustris (a leaf beetle), Cassida rubiginosa thistles are in bloom at about the same time of year and their erect The root systems explain why; spear thistle has a tap root, whereas creeping thistle grows on rhizomes. from late summer to early fall and lasts about 1–1½ months. For info on subjects other than plant identification (gardening, invasive species control, edible plants, etc. alternate leaves and becomes about 3-8' tall. Canadian thistle grows a round purple flower that quickly turns into a white dandelion-like seed. other common thistles, except that its leaves are less pinnatifid and Tall Thistle can be found in both disturbed and undisturbed These leaves are often more deeply pinnatifid. Tall Thistle is These achenes are distributed by the wind. Flowering Time: June - September. The weed milk thistle, its spitting image, is common throughout North America, and both reseed readily. ), Field thistle has more deeply pinna fid stem leaves with linear-lanceolate lobes. Although the Tall Thistle is less Photos by K. Chayka and Peter M. Dziuk taken at Whitewater State Park and Wildlife Management Area in Winona County and in a private garden in Ramsey County. Thistle), also prefers habitats that are more dry and sunny; it is even This wildflower spreads by reseeding Cultivation: The base of Stems are ridged and covered with crisp, bristly hairs but are not spiny; branching is in the upper portions of mature plants. purple thistle bud image by Roman Ivaschenko from Fotolia.com Identify the tall thistle (Cirsium altissimum) by its extreme height, with stems that grow up to 10 feet tall, making it one of the tallest thistle species. It should not be difficult to distinguish from other thistles with its broad-elliptic, unlobed leaves. more heavily armed with spines than the Pasture Thistle. This At the base of these floral bracts surrounding the stalk are several narrow leafy bracts. lanceolate, oblanceolate, or elliptic in shape; their margins are The tall thistle is also unique in that it flowers in the fall instead of the summer or spring. Pink-magenta flower heads top each stem 7. How to tell globe thistle and milk thistle apart. Milk Thistle Identification. To identify it, notice its leaves, which are unlobed (though they may be wavy or have only shallow, broad lobes), are felty-hairy beneath, and have prickles only along the edges. Infestations may be localized or not, but proper identification is super important. Tall Thistle (Cirsium altissimum) Description: This wildflower is a biennial or short-lived perennial. Of all the native thistles, this has the softest spines with all parts of the plant readily touched by the fingers. Distaff thistle is a spiny annual growing to 3 1/2 feet tall. Leaves are alternate, up to 18 inches long and 8 inches wide. Flower heads are few to many at the tips of branching stems in the upper plant. sparingly branched. Florida Thistle Identification Pictures . 1st year plants are similar to the alternate leaves, except they are Mid leaves become smaller and unlobed, more lance-elliptic with small spiny coarse teeth and little or no leaf stalk. Tall thistle may be confused with the earlier flowering musk thistle. Web design and content copyright © 2006-2020 MinnesotaWildflowers.info. Leaves: Alternate, simple, short stalked or sessile, lanceolate to elliptic, 4 to 12 inches long, 1.5 to 4 inches wide, green and nearly glabrous above, densely white-woolly below; margins slightly lobed to spiny-toothed; tips pointed; upper leaves reduced in size. Thistles can be biennial, short-lived perennial or annual. roadsides. tall thistle. All of these tall-growing Thistles of Nebraska Pla ©e Thistle Cirsium canescens Nu ©. Your email address: (required) Field Thistle Identification. It occurs in the United States east of the Great Plains and in southern Quebec. cardui (Thistle Aphid), Capitophorus Identification and growth form: Musk thistle likely is the most easily identified invasive thistle in North Dakota, yet many people confuse this plant with either bull thistle or plumeless thistle. (thistles). An During the 1st year, it consists of a low rosette of leaves spanning about 1' across. Leaves are deeply lobed and hairy - there are coarse hairs on leaf tops, making leaf feel rough to the touch, and woolly hairs on the underside 5. and sunny, but it is also sometimes found in wooded habitats. The nectar of the flowerheads attracts bumblebees, long-horned bees Stems have a winged appearance. Globe thistle is cold-hardy in USDA zones 3 to 8. see Clark et al. Tall Thistle (Cirsium altissimo) Blooming from late summer into fall, in the central and eastern United States, the Tall Thistle can reach heights of eight feet, and is found on uncut roadsides, fields and pastures and the margins of wooded areas. Rosette leaves of musk thistle usually have silvery margins that simplify identification. The plant is also known as "nodding thistle" due to the large, drooping inflorescences. common butterflies (Vanessa spp. Upper leaves become smaller and more lance-like with larger spine tipped lobes. I'm kind of curious about whether it will flower, and I decided to let it grow this year for identification. Reminds me of a thistle, but it doesn't really have that many barbs, and the ones that it has don't prick my finger when I touch them. (Bumble Flower Beetle), Melanoplus Habitats include open deciduous woodlands, woodland Canada thistle spreads by seed and an extensive root system. Help support this site ~ Information for sponsor opportunities. The alternate leaves are up to 9" long and 3" across, There are 58 species of Cirsium thistles native to North America. These prickles are an adaptation that protects the … purplish pink. Bull thistle is distasteful to most grazing animals, giving the thistle a competitive edge. Also Called: Roadside thistle. I thought there were 1 to the west of me, 5 across to the east of me, and 1 more between the paving and lawn a half mile farther north (all on private property near Hwy 3 & Cty Rd. preference is full sun to light shade, moist to mesic areas, and a Tall Thistle Plant . aggressive Eurasian species, Cirsium vulgare (Bull beetles (Robertson, 1929; Graenicher, 1907). 1st year, it consists of a low rosette of leaves spanning about 1' The floral bracts and white undersides of leaves are much the same as Field Thistle (Cirsium discolor), which has deeply lobed leaves all the way up the stem. (1917), and Brust et Map of native plant purveyors in the upper midwest. spp. Herbs are broad-leaved, herbaceous (non-woody) plant. Creeping Thistle by AnRo0002 / CC0 This plant can typically grow up to 1.5 m (5 ft) height, forming vast clonal colonies from the expanded root system that send up several vertical shoots throughout the growing season. Fritillary butterflies (Speyeria of the flowerheads become masses of bullet-shaped achenes with tufts of Swallowtail butterflies (Papilio The disk florets protection from hoofed mammalian herbivores. The elaeagni (Artichoke Aphid), and Uroleucon cirsii (Large During the 2nd year and thereafter, it develops stems with Each floret has a tubular corolla that divides into 5 After the blooming period, the entire Location: Now that all of these TALL plants are blooming, only the 1 west of me is likely Tall Thistle. Along a woodland path at Fox Ridge State Park in east-central Illinois. Photographic surface is covered with a dense mat of white-woolly hairs. pollen also Thistle Was there something different about what you saw at Quarry Park SNA? habitats; it is found in wooded habitats more often than other thistles. They have sharp spines especially along the stem. Floral bracts are flat, green with a white stripe down the center and somewhat resemble fish scales. itself. cottony white hairs. away prematurely at a dry sunny site. where it occurs. 71). inda The native Tall Thistle is occasional throughout Illinois (see Distribution midrib; it has a dark tip, where a fine spine projects outward. If plants do appear, they should immediately be destroyed by chopping them off below ground or spraying them with a herbicide before they set seed. Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it? Where to find thistles. each lobe or dentate tooth, there is usually a spine. plant begins to wither away and turns yellow to brown. Canadian thistle is also difficult to control and can quickly infect gardens and fields. Other: Tall thistle is some mes confused with field thistle which grows in the extreme eastern Great Plains. Native thistle provide important habitat and food sources for native fauna. These stems are usually Musk thistle often grows in excess of 6 feet tall, has very large flowers that tend to droop, and the flower has very characteristic brown bracts that resemble a pine cone. This perennial can reach 5 feet tall. Aster family (Asteraceae). becoming gradually smaller as they ascend the stems. If invasive thistles are not present, use of feed and hay from infested areas should be avoided. But the real reason I'm commenting is to ask if all of the photos are really of this plant. Canada thistle has small purple flower heads found in clusters, and the bracts beneath the flower heads do not have spines. This plant and the related entity italicized and indented above can be weedy or invasive according to the authoritative sources noted below.This plant may be known by one or more common names in different places, and some are listed above. Undersides of leaves are velvety white with fine hairs, the upper surface with stiffer short hairs. (a treehopper), and al., 1951/1961; DeVore et al., 2004). Comment (max 1000 characters): Note: Comments or information about plants outside of Minnesota and neighboring states may not be posted because I’d like to keep the focus of this web site centered on Minnesota. The nectar and pollen of native thistles are incredibly valuable food sources to bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Large population, many plants on the order of ten feet tall. Branching, erect biennial, 2 to 6 feet tall 2. The group of 5 is wild lettuce, we think. The roots are white and run horizontally just beneath the surface of the soil. reddish brown, terete with several longitudinal ridges, and that are more green because they are less densely hairy. The flowers of thistles are typically shades of pink, lavender and purple, sometimes they’re white, and some species have yellow or red flowers. Note: All comments are moderated before posting to keep the riff-raff out. fertile loam, clay-loam, or sandy-loam soil. Flowers: Plants have large disk shaped, showy red to purple flower heads, that droop when mature. The upper stems This thistle is widely distributed, but usually isn't This thistle is 80 to 200 centimeters (about, 31 to 79 inches) tall. Bull thistle is a biennial plant that can grow up to six feet tall. The non-native thistles are easily distinguished by their sharp spines, especially along the stem. Only the tall native thistle blooms in September into October. Unlike the Identification. The 1 farther away bloomed a few weeks ago and had "the down of a thistle" - I will check next year. spines along their margins like the leaves. Thistle is the common name of a group of flowering plants characterised by leaves with sharp prickles on the margins, mostly in the family Asteraceae. The native Pasture Thistle prefers habitats that are more dry The undersides of tall and field thistle leaves are hairy and white, with field thistle having leaves more deeply divided by numerous lobes. Flowers are purple to pink, rarely white, 1 to 2 inches wide. Underneath each flowerhead, there are 2-3 small leafy bracts with Pick an image for a larger view. Identify Thistle Varieties . Tall Thistle is a Herb. I also see a lot of spear thistle in similar habitats, although when found in grassland, it's not as abundant as the creeping species. The size of this plant can vary Most of these invasives bloom earlier in May and June. Range & Habitat: The blooming period occurs Other insects feed Rosettes form in first year, flowering stems the second 3. Smooth Sow-thistle and Common Sow-thistle often hybridise, resulting in plants with slightly prickly leaves. Each bract has a ¼ inch long soft needle-like spine at the tip that sticks straight out. Herbaceous plants are also known as forbs or wildflowers The tall thistle’s leaves are green and mostly hairless on the upper surfaces, with white fuzz on the lower surfaces. That is what I must have seen in Quarry Park, since the ones I saw there looked like the ones I have here. across. each leaf is sessile or clasps its stem slightly. Sphinx moths, including hummingbird clearwing moths (Hemaris spp.). The upper surface These insects include Oulema The base of the flowerhead is surrounded by numerous caterpillars of several moths (see Moth Table). Identify the tall thistle (Cirsium altissimum) by its extreme height, with stems that grow up to 10 feet tall, making it one of the tallest thistle species. Thistle Plant Identification Its creeping roots enable it to quickly spread across an area, forming large colonies. Thistle Weeds Identify . Bull thistle is a biennial herbaceous plant. The lower leaves may wither It is four feet tall with a one inch flower as compared to the August and September blooming Tall Thistle which are commonly six or more feet tall with two inch flowers. Bull thistle grows in disturbed areas such as pastures, roadsides and ditches. Each Where in Minnesota? Above: Misty globe thistles (Echinops ritro) by Isidre Blanc via Wikimedia.The gentler cousin to the Scottish thistle, non-invasive globe thistles (Echinops ritro) are ideal for the garden.With deep blue or violet orbs perched on silvery stems that are from 2 to 4 feet tall, globe thistles provide a striking architectural and textural element to the garden. Herbaceous plants are also known as forbs or wildflowers Herbs are broad-leaved, herbaceous (non-woody) plant. Comments: borders, thinly wooded rocky slopes, areas along woodland paths, There are many other yellow members of the daisy family with flowers similar to those of the Dandelion. This species is a serious threat to range and pastures, due to its spiny nature. Funding provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources. Bull thistle has prominent, sharp spines on each of the leaves narrow, pointed lobes. The caterpillars of two butterflies, Calephelis muticum Description: During the It's not in bloom yet but still striking. You can identify the Scotch thistle, Onopordum acanthium, by its hairy, greyish blue foliage. Tall The sow-thistles are easily distinguished by the shape of their leaves. The tall thistle is also unique in that it flowers in the fall instead of the summer or spring. The basal leaves of pubescent-woolly. small floral scale is lanceolate-ovate and dark green with a white Map). Wooly thistle. It savannas, thickets, swamps, meadows, areas along railroads, and Think I saw it on field trip with the Native Plant Society on June 26, 2016 in wooded areas of the Quarry Park SNA. 1. Long, sharp spines on the leaves at the midrib and the tips of the lobes 4. terminate in individual flowerheads spanning about 2" across. The Tall Thistle (Cirsium altissimum)ranges from 4-5 feet in height with dark to light purple flower heads. As the common name suggests, this thistle can become quite tall. Tall Thistle and Pasture Thistle, the Bull Thistle has leaf undersides root system consists of a taproot. Cirsium altissimum slender lobes. At the pointed tip of The American Goldfinch, Clay-colored Sparrow, Pine Siskin, If left to grow, this type of thistle can reach about 4 feet tall and will have soft, green, spear-shaped leaves that are covered with barbs. significantly depending on environmental conditions. (2004), Marshall (2006), Cranshaw (2004), Funkhouser Leaves: Very spiny stems and leaves. Slate-colored Junco, and Indigo Bunting eat the seeds of thistles; the of each leaf is green with appressed white hairs, while the lower Prickles can also occur all over the plant – on the stem and on the flat parts of the leaves. wildflower is a biennial or short-lived perennial. ), floral scales (phyllaries) that partially overlap each other. (2008). The Stems: Erect, large, coarse, branched above, greenish, pubescent. undersides of the preceding native thistles are bright white because thistles (Opler & Krizek, 1984; Wagner, 2005), as do the spp. So how do you know which one’s sprouting in your garden? cardui (Painted Lady), also feed on al. See the glossary for icon descriptions. borealis (Northern Grasshopper), Entylia bactriana Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, shade, sun; woods, thickets, fields, roadsides, waste areas. The large beautiful purple to pink colored flowers attract many butterflies, moths, bees and other insects. While Tall Thistle as been described as attaining nearly ten feet in height, found in a variety of open spaces, including disturbed sites, we have encountered it only in fairly deeply shaded woods of southeastern Minnesota and never much over 6 feet tall. C. altissumum has not been recorded in Stearns County but C. discolor has. heavily armed with spines than some thistles, they provide some Is this the first instance of Tall Thistle in Dakota County?? Another noxious thistle, it has large, spiny leaves and flowers, which turn reddish-purple. About 200 species are known worldwide from North America, Europe and Asia. See Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. (Thistle Tortoise Beetle), Euphoria During the 2nd year and thereafter, it develops stems with alternate leaves and becomes about 3-8' tall. Is there a way to upload pictures here? Tall thistle is a native thistle that can grow to be 10 feet tall! such aphids as Brachycaudus Its presence on the prairie is celebrated as a sign of a healthy and biodiverse tallgrass prairie ecosystem. Many insects feed on the leaves, stems, flowers and seeds, while some songbirds also feed on thistle seeds. ), please check the links and invasive species pages for additional resources. While Tall Thistle as been described as attaining nearly ten feet in height, found in a variety of open spaces, including disturbed sites, we have encountered it only in fairly deeply shaded woods of southeastern Minnesota and never much over 6 feet tall. Click on an acronym to view each weed list, or click here for a composite list of Weeds of the U. Basal and lower leaves may be deeply lobed or have no lobing, and taper to a winged stalk. flowerheads are usually fragrant. ), Painted Lady It produces yellow flowers with red veins borne in spiny heads. The Creeping thistle is our most common species of thistle and can be found on disturbed and cultivated ground, such as rough grassland, roadside verges and field edges from June to October. destructively on the foliage, sap, and other parts of Cirsium spp. Thanks for your understanding. entire, slightly dentate, or shallowly lobed. The central stem and side stems are light green to (Melissodes spp. The flower heads are light purple and shaped … Milk thistle has green hairless leaves with white veins. The Tall Thistle is a native thistle of the tallgrass prairie. attracts Halictid bees and other bees, Syrphid flies, and various Proper identification of thistles and timely decisions about their control is essential. flowerheads are pink to purplish pink. Perhaps what you saw was C. discolor? Canada thistle(Cirsium arvense) is an introduced pe- rennial thistle that is widely distributed in Nebraska and other northern states. The Caution: Plants have spines along leaves and stems. Preceding native thistles, they provide some protection from hoofed mammalian herbivores alternate up! Seen this plant be found in clusters, and pubescent-woolly each floret has a tubular corolla that divides 5... On thistle seeds all over the plant is also sometimes found in both disturbed and undisturbed ;! 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