Cirsium muticum
(Swamp Thistle)

Other pictures of this plant:

               Seedpod                                           Leaf                                            Stem                                        Seed                                          Habit

Facts About this Plant:

    Common Names: Swamp Thistle, Marsh Thistle, Dunce-Nettle, Horsetops
    Synonyms: Carduus muticus, Cirsium bigelovii
    Zones: 4 - 9
    Type: Forb
    Bloom Time: July - October
    Status: Native

Cirsium muticum, or Swamp Thistle, is native to most of the eastern United States. It is a monocarpic perennial, that, as its name suggests, grows in moist areas, like swamps, moist prairies and meadows and along railroad tracks, roads and ditches in moist soil. It blooms in late summer with pink-purple flowers.

There are a number of species that look very similar in this genus. This species is one of the tall species among this group and usually reaches well over five to six feet. While it does look similar to several other species, there is an easy way to tell this species apart from its cousins. The plant, in bloom, has a different color flower - its flowers are not light purple, but rather a deeper pinkish-purple to fuschia color, for one; additionally, the bracts under the flower have a very distinct spiderweb design between the bracts that other species lack. See picture below.

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