Carduus nutans [Asteraceae]

Click on the images below to see larger versions.

Scientific Name Carduus nutans USDA PLANTS Symbol CANU4
Common Name Musk Thistle ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 35787
Family Asteraceae (Sunflower) SEINet
Click Here
Description Life zones and habitat: Aggressive weed of waste ground, pastures, roadsides, fields in a variety of environments; up to 9800 ft.
Plant: Large, branching annual or biennial, one to seven feet tall; stems spiny-winged from the leaf bases.
Leaves: Leaves 4 to 16 inches long, deeply pinnately-lobed with sharp spines; basal and stem leaves similar; stem leaves winged (extending down the stem).
Inflorescence: Large, rayless erect or nodding flower heads 2 to 3 inches across, deep pink disk florets in the center; bracts beneath with very sharp points, lower ones are recurved.
Bloom Period: May to July.
References: "Manual of teh Vascular Plants of Texas" by Correll and Johnston, "A Field Guide to Wildflowers of the Rockies" by Carl Schreier, "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield and SEINet.
BONAP Distribution Map

Texas Status:

© Tom Lebsack 2021