|Also known as:||Scotch Cotton-thistle|
|Habitat:||sun; disturbed soil, fields, roadsides, waste areas|
|Bloom season:||June - September|
|Plant height:||3 to 9 feet|
|USDA PLANTS database:||Minnesota county distribution map|
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Typical thistle reddish purple to pink, occasionally white. Flower receptacle however is broad and flatter than most thistles, fleshy and covered with spreading, thick, spiny bracts. The 1½ to 2 inch flower heads can be solitary or in clusters up to five.
Entire plant is covered with a velvety white bloom. Leaves are alternate, coarsely lobed or toothed with somewhat wavy edges, spiny, broad and up to 12'' long at base of the plant. Stems are much branched and guarded by broad spiny winged extentions of the leaf base that extends to the next leaf node below it. Stems have a sturdy taproot
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Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk, taken across University Avenue behind Regions Hospital in dowtown St. Paul
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?