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yellowspine thistle, Santa Fe thistle
Asteraceae - Aster
Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve
DescriptionThis native is either a biennial or short-lived perennial. It is densely covered with short woolly hairs. The greenish or grayish leaves are 3 to 8 inches long. The margins are irregularly toothed. They have long, yellowish spines. It is very similar to the Wavyleaf thistle.
Mature Size2.5 - 4 ft.
Flower ColorLavender, White
BloomThis summer bloomer is hermaphrodite - has both male and female organs. The flowers are lavender, rose, or cream-colored, solitary and terminal. At maturity the airborne seeds with their feathery bristles are called thistledown.
Interesting FactsCirsium ochrocentrum is considered a noxious weed and can be invasive. Bees, flies, moths, butterflies and beetles are attracted to this plant.
Traditional and Medicinal UsesThistles are one of the Life Medicine ingredients for the Navajo who usually do not distinguish between the various species. Parts of it have been used to treat eye problems, tooth ache, diarrhea, boils, colds, constipation, fever, headaches, burns and syphilis. The peeled stems are edible. The thistledown is used by birds as food and also as lining for their nests.
Santa Fe Botanical Garden SitesLeonora Curtin Wetland Preserve