Field Thistle               Blessed Thistle
Cirsium discolor                       C. benedicta
Asteraceae (Composite Sunflower) Family

Pasture/Field Thistle

Pasture Thistle is also known as Bull Thistle.

Plant is an upright perennial with a taproot. stalk is hairy but not winged. This is the largest flowered species in the Escambia region, but in plant height it measures 1-3 feet. Preferred habitat is pine woods and dry areas (does not tolerate brackish seashore environments). Although is most often associated with the eastern Atlantic states, it is found throughout the Escambia region.

Leaves are short (compared to vulgare); unstalked; equipped with extremely long spines; bright beneath.

Flowers are large; two to three inches broad; fragrant; light magenta or white. Flowering occurs in the summer.

Blessed Thistle

Plant is an upright perennial with a taproot; one known species; usually about two feet tall. European escapee to coastal wastelands. Preferred habitat is untended meadows and waste places. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

Leaves are spiny-toothed and spine-lobed; stalked; lance-like in outline.

Flower heads are sessile (unstalked); small (about one inch broad) and surrounded by clustered leafy bracts. Outer whorl of bracts tipped by one-part spines and the inner spines are pinnately branched. Flowering date is late spring and extends throughout most of summer.

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