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Texas Thistle

Cirsium texanum

Other common name(s):

Family:

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Plant Ecoregion Distribution Map

Chihuahuan Deserts, Edwards Plateau, Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes, Southern Texas Plains, Texas Blackland Prairies
Limestone Plains
Low Mountains and Bajadas, Stockton Plateau
Eastern Cross Timbers, Grand Prairie, Limestone Cut Plain, Western Cross Timbers
Balcones Canyonlands, Edwards Plateau Woodland, Llano Uplift, Semiarid Edwards Plateau
Coastal Sand Plain, Floodplains and Low Terraces4, Laguna Madre Barrier Island and Coastal Marshes, Lower Rio Grande Alluvial Floodplain, Lower Rio Grande Valley, Mid-Coast Barrier Islands and Coastal Marshes, Northern Humid Gulf Coastal Prairies, Southern Subhumid Gulf Coastal Prairies, Texas-Louisiana Coastal Marshes
Arid Llano Estacado, Llano Estacado
Northern Nueces Alluvial Plains, Rio Grande Floodplain and Terraces, Semiarid Edwards Bajada, Texas-Tamaulipan Thornscrub
Caprock Canyons Badlands Breaks, Flat Tablelands and Valleys
Floodplains and Low Terraces1, Northern Blackland Prairie

Plant Characteristics

Growth Form

Herbaceous

Height

2
to
5
ft.

Spread

1
to
2
ft.

Leaf Retention

Deciduous

Lifespan

Biennial

Habitat and Care Requirements

Soil Type(s)

Sand, Loam, Clay

Light Requirement

Sun

Water Requirement

Low

Native Habitat

Grassland

Bloom and Attraction

Bloom Color

Blue

Bloom Season

Spring, Summer

Seasonal Interest

Seeds, Nectar, Larval Host

Wildlife Benefit

Butterflies, Birds, Bees

Maintenance

It grows in dry, sunny habitats, such as grasslands, meadows, and rocky slopes. Cirsium texanum is a perennial plant that can be propagated by division or by seed. It prefers full sun to partial shade and moist, well-drained soil. It is drought tolerant and requires little maintenance.

Comments

Blooms April-August. Texas Thistle is a single stem biennial plant with spiny leaves which are white underneath with a woolly texture. The disk flowers can be a light lavender to a deep rose-lavender. This is an important nectar and seed source for wildlife. Larval host: Painted Lady. Nectar: Black Swallowtail, Common Wood Nymph, Painted Lady, Pipevine Swallowtail.
Previous Scientific Name(s): Synonym(s): Carduus austrinus, Cirsium texanum var. stenolepis

References

1) Griffith, Bryce, Omernick & Rodgers (2007). Ecoregions of Texas. 2) https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=CITE2. 3) https://portal.torcherbaria.org/portal/taxa/index.php?taxon=Cirsium+texanum&formsubmit=Search+Terms. 4) http://bonap.net/TDC/Image/Map?taxonType=Species&taxonId=2581&locationType=County&mapType=Normal. 5) Miller, George O., Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas 2nd Ed., 2013, pg 52, 6) https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=36418#null, 7) https://www.selinawamucii.com/plants/asteraceae/cirsium-texanum/
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