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Cirsium texanum Buckley
Synonym(s): Carduus austrinus, Cirsium texanum var. stenolepis
USDA Symbol: cite2
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
The Texas thistle grows 2-5 feet tall, without branches, or sparingly branched near the top. The numerous leaves are alternate, 4-9 inches long, smaller on the upper third of the stem. Leaves are green above and white below, with a woolly texture on the underside. The irregular lobes have spines at the tip but few elsewhere on the leaf. There is 1 flower head to a stem, with no ray flowers but numerous disk flowers, which are deep rose-lavendert.
Bumblebees work the flowers when they mature.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Biennial Habit: Herb Root Type: Tap Leaf Complexity: Simple Leaf Margin:
Lobed Inflorescence: Head Size Notes:
2 to 5 Leaf:
Blades green & glabrous
above, grayish or whitish beneath. Flower:
Flowers 1 mm broad in a larger flower
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Pink , Violet
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug
, TX Native Distribution:
Prairies and roadsides nearly throughout Texas, Oklahoma & Missouri, and south to northern Mexico.
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Low Light Requirement:
Sun Soil Moisture:
Dry Heat Tolerant:
Commonly recognized for its flower,
Texas thistle is a drought tolerant species that blooms in early summer. The flower
is a good nectar
source for pollinators. Let the flower
progress to seed, providing food for birds.
Bumblebees work the flowers when they mature. Larvae of painted-lady butterfly feed on foliage. Goldfinches eat seeds and use fluff (silky) of ripened seeds to line nests. Use Other:
Goldfinches reported to use the pappus
bristles of the flower
to line their nests. Also used as a nectar
source for butterflies. Conspicuous Flowers:
Birds Larval Host:
Painted Lady Nectar Source:
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Mr. Smarty Plants says
Native host plants for Painted Lady Butterfly
June 01, 2006
I am looking for host plants for the Painted Lady Butterfly that I can plant in my school's (I am a teacher) native plant/butterfly garden. As part of the curriculum, each spring the 1st grade raises...
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Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 0017
Collected May 17, 1990 in Bexar County by Judith C. BerryNPSOT 0053
Collected May 4, 1990 in Bexar County by Lottie MillsapsNPSOT 0872
Collected May 4, 1994 in Bexar County by Harry CliffeNPSOT 0584
Collected May 11, 1990 in Bexar County by Harry CliffeNPSOT 0809
Collected Jun 4, 1994 in Comal County by Mary Beth White
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-5
Collected 2006-05-16 in Travis County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Record Last Modified: 2009-03-10
Research By: RSB