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Cirsium undulatum (Nutt.) Spreng.
Wavyleaf Thistle, Plumed Thistle
Asteraceae (Aster Family)
USDA Symbol: ciun
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
Wavyleaf 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 disc; larger flowers around the edge, the rays, strap-shaped and resembling petals; however, all flowers in one head may be disc flowers or rays.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Biennial
Size Notes: Up to about 7 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 , Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct
Bloom Notes: Lavender to pink or purple. Rarely yellowish white.
DistributionUSA: AZ , CA , CO , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , MI , MN , MO , MT , ND , NE , NM , NV , OK , OR , PA , SD , TX , UT , WA , WI , WY
Canada: AB , BC , MB , SK
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.
National Wetland Indicator Status
BibliographyBibref 610 - Edible wild plants of the prairie : an ethnobotanical guide (1987) Kindscher, K.
Bibref 1294 - The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.
Bibref 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country (1989) Enquist, M.
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 undulatum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Cirsium undulatum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Cirsium undulatum
MetadataRecord Modified: 2022-12-23
Research By: TWC Staff