Cirsium horridulum Michx.
Bristle Thistle, Yellow Thistle, Horrid Thistle, Purple Thistle, Spiny Thistle, Bull Thistle
Asteraceae (Aster Family)
USDA Symbol: CIHO2
A tall branching stem with large yellowish or red-purple flower heads and very spiny, clasping leaves. It usually grows 2 to 5-1/2 feet tall, and the leaves are 8-24 inches long. In rare instances the blossom is pale yellow to almost white.
Often found along the edges of salt marshes, it is also a pasture weed in the South, where it is frequently red-purple instead of yellow. Prairie Thistle (C. canescens) also yellow, has leaves white and velvety beneath and grayish above, with leaf bases extending, wing-like, down the stem. It is typical of overgrazed western pastures.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Annual
Size Notes: Up to about 8 feet tall, often much shorter.
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Red , Pink , Yellow , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug
Bloom Notes: Sometimes pale yellow to almost white. Flower color varies greatly.
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , CT , DE , FL , GA , LA , MA , MD , ME , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NV , NY , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA
Native Distribution: Coastal Plain from southern Maine to Florida; west to Texas.
Native Habitat: Shores, marshes, sandy or peaty fields.
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial 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.
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
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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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National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Stengl Biological Research Station - Smithville, TX
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-1161 Collected 2008-04-29 in Harrison County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
BibliographyBibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Cirsium horridulum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Cirsium horridulum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Cirsium horridulum
MetadataRecord Modified: 2022-12-05
Research By: TWC Staff