Plant Image
Willow Dells Tr - Sue Smith

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Cirsium neomexicanum - New Mexico thistle

Other Common Names: Utah Thistle
Plant Form: Forb

Family: Asteraceae

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Willow Dells Tr
Sue Smith
Flower bud
Willow Dells Tr
Sue Smith
Willow Dells Tr
Sue Smith
Willow Dells Tr
Sue Smith
Plant - summer
Aspen Creek Tr
Sue Smith
Young plant - spring
Willow Dells Tr
Sue Smith
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Biennial or perennial
General Desc: Erect tall biennial; basal leaf rosette first year, leaf bases extend down stems as spiny wings; flower heads squashed-ball shaped, erect, white to lavender or pink, with reflexed, spine-tipped outer bracts. S
Identification notes: Stems stout, branching above the middle, hairy with tangled, wooly hairs; basal leaves sessile or with winged stemmed, leaves reduced up the stem; outer flower bracts reflexed (bent downward); stems without spiny wings; flower heads purple, pink or white.
Height: 2 to 10 feet


Habitat Description: Slopes, plains, mesas, roadsides, canyons.
Plant Communities: Desert Scrub, Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 1000 - 6500 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: White to pink to purple     Shape: Daisy or dandelion-like not in clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: Mar - Jul
Description: Flower head is 2 to 3 inches wide, disk shaped, of thin tubular disk flowers on a spherical green base of spiny bracts; outer bracts point downwards.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Dark green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Triangular     Leaf Margin: Lobed     Leaf Attachment: Basal and alternate     Leaves Clasp: Y
Hairs: Leaves and stems     Spines: Y
Leaf Description: Oblong leaves, 2-1/2 to 14 inches long. Coarsely lobed with each lobe ending in a sharp spine; upper leaves are much smaller, clasping. Leaf surfaces hairy with tangled, wooly hairs.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Dark brown   
Fruit Type: Achene
Fruit Notes: Achenes topped with bristles.
Seed Notes: Seeds a favorite of goldfinches.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 7.0  
Last Updated: May 10, 2017  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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