Cirsium
thistle
11 species
3 subspecies and varieties
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Cirsium arvenseCanadian thistle, creepiing thistle
Distribution: Widely distributed on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east across North America to the Atlantic Coast.
Habitat: Roadsides, fields, meadows, pastures, prairies, grasslands, wastelots, and other disturbed areas at low to middle elevations.
Origin: Introduced from Eurasia
Flowers: May-October
Cirsium brevifoliumPalouse thistle
Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in eastern and southeastern Washington; eastern Washington to northeast Oregon and adjacent Idaho.
Habitat: Palouse grassland remnants, dry rocky slopes, and roadsides.
Origin: Native
Flowers: June-October
Cirsium brevistylumclustered thistle, short-styled thistle
Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to northern California, east to Montana.
Habitat: Slopes, open forest, and moist meadows from low to middle elevations in the mountains.
Origin: Native
Flowers: June-August
Cirsium eduleedible thistle
Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to Oregon.
Habitat: Forest openings and edge, meadows, roadsides, and other open areas at low to middle elevations in the mountains.
Origin: Native
Flowers: July-September
var. edule – edible thistle, Indian thistle, Macoun's thistle
var. wenatchense – Wenatchee thistle
Cirsium flodmaniiFlodman's thistle
Distribution: British Columbia to north-central Washington,south in the Rocky Mountains from Alberta, east to the Great Plains and Great Lakes region.
Habitat: Grasslands, stream banks, and roadsides at low to middle elevations.
Flowers: June-August
Cirsium hookerianumHooker's thistle, white thistle
Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to Washington, east to Alberta, Montana, and Wyoming.
Habitat: Moist lowlands, open slopes and fields.
Origin: Native
Flowers: July-August
Cirsium inamoenumGreene's thistle
Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in southeastern Washington; southeastern Washington to California, east to Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah.
Habitat: Grassland, sagebrush desert, and dry rocky slopes from low to middle elevations.
Origin: Native
Flowers: June-August
var. inamoenum – Greene's thistle
Cirsium remotifoliumfew-leaf thistle, Pacific fringed thistle, remote-leaved thistle, weak thistle
Distribution: Occurring west of the Cascades crest and east in the Columbia River Gorge in Washington; Washington to California.
Habitat: Meadows, stream banks, open for, brushy slopes, from low to middle elevations in the mountains.
Origin: Native
Flowers: June-September
Cirsium scariosumelk thistle, meadow thistle
Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California, east to the Rocky Mountains.
Habitat: Wet meadows, moist, sometimes alkaline ground, and forest openings from the foothills to fairly high elevations in the mountains.
Origin: Native
Flowers: June-August
Cirsium undulatumwavy leaf thistle
Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California, east to Michigan and Texas.
Habitat: Dry hillsides and plains at low elevations.
Origin: Native
Flowers: May-September
Cirsium vulgarebull thistle, common thistle
Distribution: Widely distributed on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California, east to the Atlantic Coast.
Habitat: Roadsides, fields, forest edge, ditches, balds, prairies, wastelots, and other disturbed, open areas.
Origin: Introduced from Eurasia
Flowers: June-September