Herbs and Other Plant Species of the World's Boreal Forests

World Boreal Trees

Terminology | Pictorial

Cirsium discolor
Field Thistle
Asteraceae (Aster Family)


Field Thistle Distinguishing Features - Leaves: simple, oblong, narrowly lobed with spiny teeth, sometimes compound, opposite, sometimes alternate or whorled. Flowers: purple, calyx absent, or modified into hairs, bristles, scales, or a crown, often persisting atop the fruits; corolla has 5 united petals, 5 stamens; all these parts attached to top of the ovary; blooming July to early September. Fruit: single-seeded, in a hard shell.


Widespread throughout North America; in open forests, fields and meadows.


The Field Thistle is a member of the worldwide aster family Asteraceae which includes herbs, sometimes shrubs or vines; trees are rare.

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