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Native Plant Guide

Information and Services for King County, Washington

edible thistle

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edible thistle blooming
© Greg Rabourn
edible thistle blooming (enlarge)

Cirsium edule

Perennial Groundcover

Height: 5 ft.

Availability: Low

Growing ease: Medium

Moisture req.: dry - moist

Exposure req.: sun - part shade


Plant description:

Not all thistles are introduced weeds, although the weeds are most common. Although you will have difficulty finding this at any nursery, once you learn to identify it, you may be able to obtain a seed head from a friend. If you notice a thistle that is fuzzy, tall and robust like bull thistle, but without the same deeply lobed, heavily armed leaves, you may want to identify before you pull. Check out the noxious weed to view the weedy thistles.

Keywords: birds, butterflies, perennial (non-woody), pink, purple, thorns or prickles, upright