Arizona Naturalists >>> Ponderosa Woodland Flora >>> Asteraceae >>> Cirsium arizonicus

Arizona Thistle

Cirsium arizonicum

Arizona Thistle, Cirsium arizonicum, photo © by Mike Plagens

Observed in the ponderosa forest of Upper East Verde watershead just below the Mogollon Rim, Gila Co., Arizona, USA. August 2010.

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FLOWERS: Deep red flowers subtended by a spiny involucre. Visited by butterflies and hummingbirds. Blooming from mid summer during the rainy season.

LEAVES: Leaves silvery-green due to abundant fine silky hairs on young leaves. Deeply toothed with sharp prickles along margins.

PERENNIAL: Usually one main stem from a root system that can survive several seasons. Most mature, flowering plants exceed one meter in height.

RANGE: Found in partially shaded montane habitats from California to southern Colorado and south into Mexico.

FRUIT: The dark seeds are topped with silky white hairs that aid in wind dispersal.

ARMED. The leaves and flower bracts have slender, sharp prickles.

Asteraceae -- Sunflower Family

More Information:

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Arizona Naturalist
Arizona's Ponderosa Woodlands
The Flora of Arizona's Ponderosa Woodlands


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2010