BugwoodWiki Article

bull thistle
Cirsium vulgare (Savi) Ten.

Overview

Appearance
Cirsium vulgare is an annual or biennial, herbaceous plant that invades disturbed areas throughout the United States. The spiny, spreading, winged stems are up to 7 ft. (2.1 m) tall.
Foliage
Leaves are 3-12 in. (7.6-30.5 cm) long, lance-shaped and very hairy.
Flowers
Flowers develop, at the apex of the plant, from June to September. The purple flower heads are 1.5-2 in. (3.8-5.1 cm) in diameter and 1-2 in. (2.5-5.1 cm) long with narrow, spine-tipped bracts.
Fruit
Fruits have several bristles on the tip and are up to 0.2 in. (5 mm) long.
Ecological Threat
Cirsium vulgare can invade almost any type of disturbed area, such as forest clearcuts, riparian areas and pastures. Plants can form dense thickets, displacing other vegetation. The spiny nature of the plant renders it unpalatable to wildlife and livestock and reduces the forage potential of pastures. Cirsium vulgare is native to Europe, western Asia, and northern Africa. It is thought to have been introduced to the eastern United States during colonial times and the western United States in the late 1800s. It is currently found in all 50 states.

Resources

Selected Images


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bull thistle
Cirsium vulgare
Flower(s)
Loke T. Kok
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bull thistle
Cirsium vulgare
Competition
Dave Powell
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1196054

bull thistle
Cirsium vulgare
Foliage
Michael Shephard
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1196097

bull thistle
Cirsium vulgare
Foliage
Michael Shephard
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bull thistle
Cirsium vulgare
Plant(s)
Dave Powell
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1237086

bull thistle
Cirsium vulgare
Flower(s)
Britt Slattery
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bull thistle
Cirsium vulgare
Stem(s)
Dan Tenaglia
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1237114

bull thistle
Cirsium vulgare
Foliage
Dan Tenaglia
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1459722

bull thistle
Cirsium vulgare
Foliage
Steve Dewey
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bull thistle
Cirsium vulgare
Feature(s)
Steve Dewey
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1459751

bull thistle
Cirsium vulgare
Plant(s)
Steve Dewey
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bull thistle
Cirsium vulgare
Plant(s)
Forest and Kim Starr
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5160013

bull thistle
Cirsium vulgare
Flower(s)
Forest and Kim Starr
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5160016

bull thistle
Cirsium vulgare
Fruit(s)
Forest and Kim Starr
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5160034

bull thistle
Cirsium vulgare
Plant(s)
Forest and Kim Starr
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5161005

bull thistle
Cirsium vulgare
Fruit(s)
Forest and Kim Starr
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bull thistle
Cirsium vulgare
Flower(s)
Forest and Kim Starr
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bull thistle
Cirsium vulgare
Flower(s)
Forest and Kim Starr
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bull thistle
Cirsium vulgare
Plant(s)
USDA PLANTS Database
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bull thistle
Cirsium vulgare
Fruit(s)
Steve Hurst

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

Most Troublesome / Most Common Agricultural Weed List
This map identifies those states that consider this species either most troublesome or most common in at least one commodity. For more information, visit the MTMC project page.

State Regulated List
Legend
   No Data for this state
   Troublesome or Common weed in one or more crops

Invasive Listing Sources

Taxonomic Rank

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

Other System Links

Plants: CIVU
Bayer: CIRVU
GRIN: 104163
ITIS: 36428
NPDN Pest: PBFAWBG
NPDN Host: 36348

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
common thistle, spear thistle

Related Scientific Names:

Carduus lanceolatus (Savi) Ten.(Synonym)
Carduus vulgaris (Savi) Ten.(Synonym)
Cirsium lanceolatum (Savi) Ten.(Synonym)

Categories

Category: Forbs/Herbs