Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Carduus nutans
musk thistle, nodding thistle
WTU images
WTU specimens
Other herbaria

Distribution: Occurring in scattered locations on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California, east to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Roadsides, fields, ditches, wastelots, and other disturbed, open areas.

Flowers: June-October

Origin: Introduced from Eurasia

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Description:
General:

Biennial herb 3-25 dm. tall, the stem winged from the leaf bases.

Leaves:

Leaves deeply lobed, up to 40 cm. long and 15 cm. wide, mostly glabrous.

Flowers:

Heads mostly solitary and nodding at the ends of the branches, the disk usually 4-8 cm. wide; middle and outer involucre bracts broad, 2-8 mm. wide, with long, flat, spiny tip, the mid-rib very prominent; inner bracts narrower and softer, often purplish; flowers purple; pappus capillary, not plumose.

Fruits:

Achenes glabrous.

Accepted Name:
Carduus nutans L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 2: 821. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Carduus nutans in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Carduus nutans checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Carduus nutans atlas page.

CalPhotos: Carduus nutans photos.

USDA Plants: Carduus nutans information.

29 photographs:
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