Field Thistle Cirsium discolor (Muhlenberg) Sprengel  Synonyms: Carduus discolor.

Status:

Frequent throughout Maryland in fields and along stream banks and roadsides (J. Hill/MNPS).

Description:

Maryland's only thistle species with the underside of the stem leaves white.

Relationships:

Pollinated by bees and butterflies. Caterpillars of Painted Lady butterflies feed on the foliage. American Goldfinches eat the seeds and line their nests with the tufts of hair that develop on the achenes (fruits). Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds visit the flowers for nectar. (J. Hill/MNPS)

There are 110 records in the project database.

View species at Maryland Plant Atlas

Search Google Images

GAAL WA FRCL MO HO BA BC HA CE PG AA CV CHSM KE QA CN TA DO WI SO WO
Field Thistle in Caroline Co., Maryland (8/28/2016). Photo by Wayne Longbottom. (MBP list)

Field Thistle, with visiting male Zabulon Skipper, in Montgomery Co., Maryland (8/31/2013). Photo by Jane Hill. (MBP list)

Field Thistle in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (8/9/2011). Photo by Bill Harms. (MBP list)

Field Thistle in Prince George's Co., Maryland (8/30/2017). Photo by Bill Harms. (MBP list)

Field Thistle blooming in Howard Co., Maryland (8/30/2013). Photo by Joanne Solem. (MBP list)

Field Thistle blooming in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (9/13/2010). Photo by Bill Harms. (MBP list)

Field Thistle in Dorchester Co., Maryland (9/4/2016). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

Field Thistle in St. Mary's Co., Maryland (9/12/2014). Photo by Jim Stasz. (MBP list)

Field Thistle, with silky fruits being released, in Montgomery Co., Maryland (11/9/2014). Photo by Jane Hill. (MBP list)

Field Thistle (unopened flower) in Howard Co., Maryland (8/30/2013). Photo by Joanne Solem. (MBP list)

Field Thistle (dark upper side of leaf) in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (9/13/2010). Photo by Bill Harms. (MBP list)

Field Thistle (light underside of leaf) in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (9/13/2010). Photo by Bill Harms. (MBP list)

Field Thistle in Kent Co., Maryland (10/4/2015). Note the whitish undersides of leaves. Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Field Thistle in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (9/13/2010). Note that flower head shows white-striped bracts with short needle-like spine. Photo by Bill Harms. (MBP list)

Field Thistle in Harford Co., Maryland (9/10/1983). Photo by Jim Stasz. (MBP list)

Field Thistle (winter aspect) in Calvert Co., Maryland (3/17/2018). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)


View All Images

Use of images featured on Maryland Biodiversity Project is only permitted with express permission of the photographer.

View Bibliography