Bull Thistle
Cirsium vulgare

Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare) Other common names: Spear Thistle

Other scientific names: Carduus vulgaris, Cirsium lanceolatum, Cnicus lanceolatus

French names: Chardon vulgaire

Family: Composite Family (Asteraceae)

Group: Thistles

Similar species:
  •   Field Thistle (Cirsium discolor) - A lot smaller overall.

  •   Hill's Thistle (Cirsium pumilum) - Fairly uncommon, a lot smaller overall.

  •   Nodding Thistle (Carduus nutans) - Flower is on a nodding head.

  •   Plumeless Thistle (Carduus acanthoides) - Flowers are smaller, resemble those of Nodding Thistle (Carduus nutans) (except they are not nodding).

  •   Swamp Thistle (Cirsium muticum) - A lot smaller overall.

Flowers: Summer;  Blue/Violet;  Indistinguishable parts (petals)

Leaves: Alternate, Simple

Habitat: Fields and Open Areas

Books: Newcomb's Wildflower Guide: 430   

Native/Non-native: Non-native

Origin and Meaning of Names:
 Scientific Name: vulgare: common (Latin)

For more information visit: Ontario Wildflowers

Photographs: 85 photographs available, of which 9 are featured on this page. SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOGRAPHS.

Range Map is at the bottom of the page

Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare)

Bull Thistle flower.

Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare)

Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare)

Bull Thistle flower bud.

Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare)

Bull Thistle leaves are very prickly.

Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare)

The stem is very prickly.

Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare)

Basal rosette of leaves in April, prior to sending up the flowering stalk.

Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare)

An entire Bull Thistle plant.

Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare)

Bull Thistle seeds ripening.

Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare)

Bull Thistle seeds are light and disperse on the wind.

Range map for Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare)

PLEASE NOTE: A coloured Province or State means this species occurs somewhere in that Province/State.
The entire Province/State is coloured, regardless of where in that Province/State it occurs.

(Range map provided courtesy of the USDA website and is displayed here in accordance with their Policies)


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