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Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Cirsium canescens (Prairie thistle)
Smith, R.W.

Cirsium canescens

Cirsium canescens Nutt.

Prairie Thistle

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Synonym(s): Carduus undulatus var. canescens, Cirsium nebraskense, Cirsium nelsonii, Cirsium plattense

USDA Symbol: CICA11

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Cirsium canescens, a yellow thistle, has leaves that are white and velvety beneath and grayish above, with leaf bases extending wing-like down the stem. It is often found on overgrazed western pastures.


From the Image Gallery

3 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Biennial
Habit: Herb
Root Type: Tap
Leaf Shape: Elliptic , Oblong , Obovate
Size Notes: Height 20-100 cm.
Size Class: 0-1 ft. , 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: CO , ID , MT , NE , NM , OH , SD , WY

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees
Special Value to Bumble Bees
Provides Nesting Materials/Structure for Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Cirsium canescens in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Cirsium canescens in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Cirsium canescens


Record Modified: 2015-02-10
Research By: TWC Staff

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