Two Color Thistle
Cirsium discolor - (Muhlenberg) Sprengel
Asteraceae (Composite Sunflower) Family
Plant is an upright biennial. Its preferred habitat is roadsides, pastures, prairies and rich woods. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region, except directly at seashore.
Leaves are alternate on the stem; no leaf stalks; deeply cleft; widest in the center; leaf margins lobed equally on each side with spiny tips; woolly on the underside.
Flowers are terminal heads; bisexual in nature and symmetrical in form. Disc flowers are numerous and purple with feathery white tips; no ray flowers; bracts spine tipped; pappus feather-like. Flowers occur in the summer.
Fruit is a seed which outer layer is fused to it (achene).
The related C. muticum is very similar but lacks the spine-tipped bracts.