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Plants of fields, roadsides, open disturbed areas, often in dry ground.  Flowers July to August.  Native.  Our plants are variety pumilum.

Biennial.  Stems are pubescent with long, spreading hairs, but not spiny-winged.  Typical height is 2 to 3 feet.

InflorescencesFlower heads are borne singly at the stem summit, or in small clusters of a few heads at the tips of branches.  Branches are ascending.

Flower heads are discoidRay florets are lackingFlorets are bisexual and fertile; corollas are tubular, with 5 spreading lobes; typically purple/magenta.  Involucres are 35 to 50 mm highclosely subtended by leaflike bractsInvolucral bracts are appressed, tipped with spines longer than 1 mm.

Basal leaves may be present at flowering.  Stem and branch leaves are alternate, elliptic in general outline, lobed; the lobes are often ascending (I.e., leaves are not flat.) and spine-tipped;  Generally, leaf margins are spiny.

The pappus is of numerous, fine, branched (feather-like) bristles.

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Similar species:  other members of the genus Cirsium.

 

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