Desert Thistle

Common Names:
New Mexico Thistle, Desert Thistle
Scientific name:
Cirsium neomexicanum
Elevation range:
1,500 - 6,500 ft.
Flowering Months:
April, May
Life Cycle | Lifeform:
Perennial
State Occurrences:
Desert region:
Mojave

Desert Thistle 1

Desert Thistle in the desert

Cirsium neomexicanum is in the Sunflower family. It has only disc flowers which are pink.  Mojave National Preserve | April 2014  

Desert Thistle 2

Desert Thistle in the desert

Cirsium neomexicanum is a biennial plant growing to a maximum of 7 ft. It is exceedingly spiny on all parts of the plant. Leaves are long a deeply lobed and much reduced on the thick stem. The rounded inflorescence sits at the top of the stem. Mojave National Preserve | April 2014