Cirsium muticum (Swamp Thistle)
|Also known as:|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; swamps, bogs, wet meadows, moist open woods|
|Bloom season:||July - October|
|Plant height:||3 to 8 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FACW MW: OBL NCNE: OBL|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Deep purple to pink flower heads rarely more than 1½ inches wide. Bracts are typically spineless, deep green and elongated with a white stripe down the center and a cottony webbing between the bracts.
Leaves and stem:
Leaves are deeply lobed, nearly spineless, and often widely spaced on the stem. Lower leaves can be up to 8 inches long by 3 inches wide. Younger leaves can be whiteish underneath becoming smoother above and below with maturity. Stems are slender to lanky and well branched. Lower stems are sparsely woolly to almost smooth on upper growth.
Swamp Thistle is frequent in wet meadows and moist woodlands throughout east central and all of northern Minnesota. While it may grow as tall as 8 feet, 5 feet is more typical. It is fairly easy to recognize from the mesh of cob-webby hairs on the spineless bracts, and its wetland habitat.
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Photos by K. Chayka taken in Ramsey County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk, taken in Blaine, Anoka County, and a wooded road margin in Chisago County, MN
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?