Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


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.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or choose a plant family:

Cirsium scariosum

Cirsium scariosum Nutt.

Meadow Thistle

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Synonym(s): Carduus americanus, Carduus coloradensis, Cirsium acaule var. americanum, Cirsium acaulescens, Cirsium americanum, Cirsium butleri, Cirsium coloradense, Cirsium coloradense ssp. acaulescens, Cirsium coloradense ssp. longissimum, Cirsium congdonii, Cirsium drummondii ssp. lanatum, Cirsium drummondii ssp. latisquamum, Cirsium drummondii ssp. vexans, Cirsium drummondii var. acaulescens, Cirsium drummondii var. oregonense, Cirsium erosum, Cirsium kelseyi, Cirsium lacerum, Cirsium magnificum, Cirsium minganense, Cirsium oreophilum, Cirsium quercetorum var. citrinum, Cirsium scariosum var. scariosum, Cirsium scariosum var. thorneae, Cirsium tioganum, Cirsium tioganum var. coloradense, Cirsium tioganum var. tioganum, Cirsium ×erosum, Cnicus drummondii var. acaulescens, Cnicus tioganus

USDA Symbol: CISC2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

Meadow Thistle is a member of the aster family (family Asteraceae) which includes herbs, sometimes shrubs or vines, rarely trees, with simple or compound, alternate or opposite leaves. Flowers small, but organized into larger heads resembling a single, radially symmetrical flower cupped by a ring of green bracts. Flower-like heads: tiny, radially symmetrical central flowers form the disk; larger flowers around the edge, the rays, strap-shaped and resembling petals; however, all flowers in one had may be disk flowers or rays.


From the Image Gallery

No images of this plant

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Biennial
Habit: Herb

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov


USA: ID , MT , OR , UT , WA , WY
Canada: AB , BC , QC

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.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back