Thistles are characteristically seen in pastures and along roadsides with their sharp prickly foliage that run the length of the plant. Walls-Thumma writes about education, gardening and sustainable living. Where it become invasive it can often be controlled by repeated mowing before the plant forms blossoms or seeds. All Rights Reserved. The foliage of the pasture thistle is long and hairy with shallow, spiny lobes that are green in color. Tilling or application of glyphosate are two methods of control. Its purplish pink flower blooms grow up to 2 inches in width with stiff and rigid spines that resemble a shaving brush. Canadian thistle (Circium arvense) is an invasive weed that spreads rapidly and can infest pastures and gardens. Her articles have appeared on Travels.com and GardenGuides.com. They can be majestic and elegant, and their showy purple or pink flower heads are unquestionably attractive. Thistles are characteristically seen in pastures and along roadsides with their sharp prickly foliage that run the length of the plant. Swamp thistle is a perennial wildflower that grows in wet woods and swamps. A mature plant can reach up to 4 feet in height. Cynthia Myers is the author of numerous novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from "Historic Traveler" to "Texas Highways" to "Medical Practice Management." The roots of Canadian thistle are very deep, so mowing or cutting it isn't an effective way to control it. Bracts around the flower heads are long and tapered 6. North American thistles likely belonged to a single species before the Pleistocene epoch about two million years ago. 1. Russian thistle (Salsola tragus), when dried, forms the tumbleweeds seen along roadsides in some parts of the American West. These annual plants die in winter. The Canada thistle, on the other hand, has a smooth stem. By creating an account you agree to the Hunker, California Department of Food and Agriculture: Cirsium Genus. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. Select from premium Thistle of the highest quality. Thistles thrive in harsh, dry conditions, but not all thistles are considered beneficial. Typically, an involucre with a clasping shape similar to a cup or urn subtends each of a thistle's flowerheads. Pasture Thistle. The purple blossoms are small, but each contains hundreds of seeds that float on the wind, allowing the plant to reproduce over a broad range. You can find many species of thistle in North America. The foliage on the swamp thistle is long with deeply cut leaves that are prickly and green in color. Thistles vary in terms of climate preference and grow in moist, wet soils as well as dry, arid climates. It’s rose and purple colored blooms are clustered and attached to hollow stems with sticky bracts. They are covered with a mat of woolly hairs, especially on the lower surface of the leaves Bright purple thistle blossoms attract butterflies and bumblebees to the garden in spring and summer and provide a favorite food of birds in summer and fall. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →. Their blossoms don't resemble thistles at all, but they do have deeply lobed, spiky foliage typical of thistles. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and writing from University of Maryland and is a graduate student in humanities at American Public University. First published in 2000, Dawn Walls-Thumma has served as an editor for "Bartleby" and "Antithesis Common" literary magazines. Prickles can also occur all over the plant – on the stem and on the flat parts of the leaves. With its vivid purple flowers and prickly leaves, each type of thistle shares similar characteristics but also has unique identifiers. These prickles are an adaptation that protects the plant from being eaten by herbivores. These wildflowers are often seen growing in pastures and along roadsides. Find the perfect Thistle stock photos and editorial news pictures from Getty Images. Swamp thistle is a perennial wildflower that grows in wet woods and swamps. Russian thistles can grow from 1 to 3 feet tall and up to 5 feet across. Yellow thistle begins to flower in late spring and lasts through the fall. All Rights Reserved. They dry and are eventually uprooted, to be blown about by the wind. Yellow thistle is a perennial wildflower that grows between 2 and 5 feet tall. Thistles bear spiny leaves and distinctive upright flowers.
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