Carduus nutans

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
Reference
Click Here
Description Life zones and habitat: Plains to montane; aggressive weed of waste ground, pastures, roadsides, fields.
Plant: Large, branching annual or biennial, one to nine 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.
References: Descr. adapted from "A Field Guide to Wildflowers of the Rockies" by Carl Schreier, "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield and SEINet.
Colorado Status
Noxious Weed

© Tom Lebsack 2018