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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 pitcheri (Sand dune thistle)
Smith, R.W.

Cirsium pitcheri

Cirsium pitcheri (Torr. ex Eaton) Torr. & A. Gray

Sand Dune Thistle

Asteraceae (Aster Family)


USDA Symbol: cipi

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

Federally-listed as threatened. Listed endangered by Canadian Species At Risk Act (SARA).


From the Image Gallery

2 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Biennial
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: Up to about 4 feet tall.
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
Bloom Notes: Dull white or pinkish.


USA: IL , IN , MI , WI
Canada: ON
Native Habitat: Lakeshores

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Sand


Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Painted Lady

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.

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Painted Lady
(Vanessa cardui)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Native plants of dune erosion control in Michigan
May 30, 2008
We care for Lake Michigan dune near our home in New Buffalo and would like to provide erosion control with native species that will also enhance the beauty of the dune with long lasting flowers. The ...
view the full question and answer

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Threatened & Endangered Status

USFWS Species Profile: Q276
Status: Threatened
Historic Range: U.S.A. (IL, IN, MI, WI), Canada (Ont.)
Critical Habitat: N/A
Special Rules: N/A
This information is derived from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Serrvice Environmental Conservation Online System.


Bibref 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

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 3 - Flora of North America (2014) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 12 - Great Lakes Ecological Assessment: Threatened, Endangered, or Sensitive Species (2012) USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2022-12-05
Research By: TWC Staff

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