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Field Thistle


Common Name: Field Thistle

Latin Name: Cirsium discolor

[Pronounced: "SIRR-see-uhm DIS-cul-er"]

Type of Plant: Perennial Forb

Identification Helps: This tall thistle has a characteristic, usually single flower (see photo to the left) in July through September. The plant can be up to 6-ft tall. Leaves are as shown.

Preferred Growing Conditions in the Wild: Field thistle grows in both prairies and other non-prairie old-field habitats.

Preferred Soils: Field thistle grows on mesic to slightly hydric soils.

Seasons of Growth and Bloom: Blooms from July through October, but primarily in July and August.

Natural Distribution in Ohio: Found in all major Ohio prairies, and elsewhere in Ohio.

Description and General Information: Because this species grows in many non-prairie environments in Ohio, often in un-mowed old fields, many would regard this plant as a mere weed, not a real Ohio prairie plant. But this is one of a few native prairie plants that are able to invade and grow in disturbed or un-mowed old fields outside of original prairie areas. Only