Cirsium muticum Michx. - Fen Thistle


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Cirsium muticum - (image 1 of 5)



Family: Asteraceae


Swamps, bogs, marshes, moist woods, thickets, and calcareous fens.


In fens found with Aster puniceus firmus, Aster umbellatus, Caltha palustris, Thelypteris palustris, Eupatorium maculatum, Eupatorium perfoliatum, Gentiana procera, Impatiens capensis, Lobelia kalmii, Lysimachia quadriflora, Parnassia glauca, Pedicularis lanceolata, Solidago patula, Symplocarpus foetidus.


Newfoundland west to Saskatchewan, south to DE, MO, and in mountains to NC and TN; irregularly to FL and TX.


Course, branching biennial to 2 m from several stout roots. Leaves green, glabrous, deeply pinnately lobed or incised. Flowers magenta-purple; peduncles and stems not spiny-winged; involucres less than 3.5cm high; outer involucral bracts more ovate, without terminal spines.


Flowers early August to late October

Wetland indicator: Obligate

This plant always seems to be covered with butterflies when in bloom. Does not form extensive vegetative colonies like the introduced C. arvense.


Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY


Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.




 Michael Hough 2004