woolly distaff thistle
Carthamus lanatus L.


Carthamus lanatus is a winter annual forb that can grow up to 3.3 ft. (1 m) tall.
Stem leaves are alternate, pinnate, stiff, and covered in small hairs. Base of the leaves lack petioles and weakly clasp stems. Basal leaves are like the stem leaves but larger.
Flowers are disk shaped, yellow, 1-1.4 in. (25-35 mm) long. Receptacles are cone- shaped. Blooming occurs from July to August.
Fruit is brown, oblong, 0.16-0.24 in. (4-6 mm) long, and notched near the base. Seeds are brownish in color, narrow, and 0.4-0.5 in. (10-13 mm) long.
Ecological Threat
Carthamus lanatus prefers disturbed areas such as roadsides, fields, and pastures. It is native to the Mediterranean and Europe.

Selected Images


EDDMapS Distribution

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

State Regulated List

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

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Carthamus
Subject: Carthamus lanatus L.

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
distaff thistle, saffron thistle


Plants - Forbs/Herbs