Cirsium discolor, Field Thistle

Most experience with thistle, almost anywhere in the U.S., is most commonly with Canada Thistle, Bull Thistle, Scotch Thistle -the weedy or invasive thistles. Field Thistle is not that thistle!  

Aka Pasture Thistle, Cirsium discolor is a much less spiny thistle with a deep taproot. It does not spread by rhizome like Canada Thistle will. Other than planting new basal rosettes in your prairie each year, allowing it to self seed is the only way you can ensure Field Thistle continues to bloom and provide for wildlife in your prairie. Perfect for the mid-height prairie dominated by Little Bluestem and Side Oats Grama.

Blooms: magenta-pink, July to October

Height: 3 to 6 feet

Conditions: sun to pt sun, medium to medium-dry soils