BugwoodWiki Article

marsh thistle
Cirsium palustre (L.) Scop.

Overview

Appearance
Cirsium palustre is an herbaceous biennial that can grow from 4-5 ft. (1.25-1.5 m) tall. The glabrate stem is winged and armed with spines that result from its decurrent leaf bases. Much of the plant is covered in long, sticky hairs.
Foliage
The leaves are spiny and pinnatifid. They are linear-oblong in shape and have tufts of hairs on the lower surface. The lower leaves are 6-8 in. (15-20 cm) long.
Flowers
This plant usually has many purple flower heads borne on short peduncles that do not reach more than 0.4 in. (1 cm) in length. The ovoid involucre is 0.4-0.75 in. (1-2 cm) across. The bracts are not spine-tipped. The flowers appear in June and July.
Fruit
The mature pappus is white and 0.4 in. (1 cm) in length or less. The small, straw-colored achenes are 0.1 in. (3 mm) long.
Ecological Threat
Cirsium palustre grows best in moist acidic soils. It can be found in any disturbed areas as long as its moisture requirements are met. It is common on roadsides and in wet ditches. It is also somewhat shade tolerant, and therefore can be found in moist woods. A combination of wind dispersal and intermediated shade tolerance makes Cirsium palustre a threat to moist, minimally managed habitats.

Resources

Selected Images


5515783
5515783

marsh thistle
Cirsium palustre
Flower(s)
Rob Routledge
5515788
5515788

marsh thistle
Cirsium palustre
Flower(s)
Rob Routledge
5515784
5515784

marsh thistle
Cirsium palustre
Stem(s)
Rob Routledge
5515791
5515791

marsh thistle
Cirsium palustre
Stem(s)
Rob Routledge

Maps


EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org

EDDMapS Distribution

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit Invasive.org

State Regulated List

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Cirsium

Categories

Category: Forbs/Herbs