Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle
Scientific Name: Cirsium ochrocentrum
Common Name: Yellowspine Thistle
Also Called: Thistle (Spanish: Cardo)
Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family
Synonyms: (Cnicus ochrocentrus)
Duration: Biennial or perennial.
Size: Up to 3 feet.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; 1 or several stems, stems erect or ascending, white tomentose or covered with dense grayish-white matted hair.
Leaves: Grayish-white tomentose; alternate, leaves elliptic or oblanceolate, lower part of leaf with spiny margined wings, deeply pinnately lobed, margins with coarse teeth, tips of lobes with sharp yellow spines.
Flower Color: Pink, variable from purple, white or lavender; heads solitary or few, flowering stalk (peduncle) or not; bracts or phyllaries subtend flower heads linear or lanceolate always with sharp yellow spines; fruit an achene; pappus light brown bristles.
Flowering Season: May to October.
Elevation: 4,500 to 8,000 feet.
Habitat Preferences: Disturbed areas, pinyon-juniper communities, open areas, fields, roadsides.
Recorded Range: Yellowspine Thistle is found mostly in the southern half of the western United States in AZ, CA, CO, KS, NE, NM, OK, SD, TX, UT and WY. It may also be found in northern Mexico. In Arizona, Yellowspine Thistle is found in the northern and southern parts of the state and in Graham County.
North America & US County Distribution Map for Cirsium ochrocentrum.
U.S. Weed Information: Cirsium ochrocentrum is listed in: Weeds of Nebraska and the Great Plains, Weeds of the United States and Canada, and Weeds of the West. Plants included here may become weedy or invasive.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: Cirsium ochrocentrum is listed as a Noxious Weed by the States of Arkansas, California and Iowa. Plants included here are invasive or noxious.
Wetland Indicator: No data available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No data available
Comments: Yellowspine Thistle is a common upland thistle is Arizona at elevations above 4,500 feet. As with most thistles it readily attracts bees, wasps and butterflies.
Yellowspine Thistle was used as a treatment by the Zuni as a diuretic. View see the full species account from Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.