bull cottonthistle
Onopordum tauricum Willd.


Onopordum tauricum is a biennial herb that can grow up to 8 ft. (2.4 m) tall.
The leaves of O. tauricum are bright green in color and from 3.9-9.8 in. (10-25 cm) long. Leaves are covered with short hairs, are acutely triangular and have toothed lobes.
Onopordum tauricum flower heads are spherical and bright purple to pink in color. They are from 3-4 in. (7.6-10.2 cm) in diameter with numerous spiny bracts. Flowering occurs in summer.
Fruits are from 0.2-0.24 in. (5-6 mm) long. Each fruit contains several white to tan seeds from 0.31-0.39 in. (8-10 mm) long. Seeds have short bristles. This plant reproduces by seed.
Ecological Threat
Onopordum tauricum prefers disturbed areas including fields and roadsides. It is native to temperate Asia and eastern 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: Onopordum
Subject: Onopordum tauricum Willd.

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
Scotch thistle, taurus cotton thistle


Plants - Forbs/Herbs