Mojave Thistle (Cirsium mohavense)

Mojave Thistle (Cirsium mohavense)

Cirsium mohavense is a species of thistle known by the common name Mojave thistle. It is native to the southwestern United States, where it grows in moist areas in otherwise dry habitat, such as desert springs. It is most common in the Mojave Desert. It is a biennial or perennial growing up to 2.5 meters tall. The densely woolly stem branches and spreads near the top. The leaves are toothed to deeply lobed, woolly, spiny, and up to 60 centimeters long near the base of the plant. The inflorescence is a spreading array of clusters of flower heads, each generally less than 3 centimeters long and wide. The flower head is coated in spiny phyllaries and filled with white, lavender, or pink flowers. The fruit is an achene a few millimeters long with a pappus on top about 1.5 centimeters long.

About the author

Jim Mattern

Jim is a scapegoat for the NPS, an author, adventurer, photographer, radio personality, guide, and location scout. His interests lie in Native American and cultural sites, ghost towns, mines, and natural wonders in the American Deserts.

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