Texas Thistle (Cirsium texanum)
Description: The Texas thistle grows 2-5 feet tall, without branches, or sparingly branched near the top. The numerous leaves are alternate, 4-9 inches long, smaller on the upper third of the stem. Leaves are green above and white below, with a woolly texture on the underside. The irregular lobes have spines at the tip but few elsewhere on the leaf. There is 1 flower head to a stem, with no ray flowers but numerous disk flowers, which are deep rose-lavenders. Bumblebees work the flowers when they mature.
Synonym(s): Carduus austrinus, Cirsium texanum var. stenolepis
USDA Symbol: CITE2
Size Class: 3-6 ft.
Bloom Color: Pink, Violet
Bloom Time: Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug
Water Use: Low
Light Requirements: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Bloom Notes: Commonly recognized for its flower, Texas thistle is a drought tolerant species that blooms in early summer. The flower is a good nectar source for pollinators. Let the flower progress to seed, providing food for birds.
Bumblebees work the flowers when they mature. Larvae of painted-lady butterfly feed on foliage. Goldfinches eat seeds and use fluff (silky) of ripened seeds to line nests.
Goldfinches reported to use the pappus bristles of the flower to line their nests. Also used as a nectar source for butterflies.
Missing Images: Plant, Leaf, Close-Up, Fruit-Seed
Data Completeness: Complete