Cirsium neomexicanum is a North American species of thistle known by the common names New Mexico thistle, powderpuff thistle, lavender thistle, foss thistle and desert thistle.[2][3]

Cirsium neomexicanum

Secure  (NatureServe)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Cirsium
C. neomexicanum
Binomial name
Cirsium neomexicanum
  • Carduus neomexicanus (A.Gray) Greene
  • Carduus nevadensis Greene
  • Cirsium arcuum A.Nelson
  • Cirsium canescens A.Gray
  • Cirsium humboldtense Rydb.
  • Cirsium nevadense (Greene) Petr. 1917 not Willk. 1859
  • Cirsium utahense Petr.
  • Cnicus neomexicanus (A.Gray) A.Gray

This plant is native to the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, particularly the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts. It has been found in California, Nevada, Arizona, Sonora, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas.[4][5]

Description edit

Cirsium neomexicanum is a tall plant, routinely exceeding 2 metres (6+712 ft) in height. It erects a stem which may have webby fibers and long, stiff spines. The sparse leaves are greenish-gray, hairy, and very spiny.[6]

Atop the mainly naked stems are inflorescences of one or more large flower heads with rounded bases and phyllaries covered in long, curving spines. The largest heads may be up to 5 centimeters (2 inches) in diameter. They are packed with white or lavender to pink disc florets but no ray florets.[6][7]

The fruit is a flat brown achene with a long pappus which may reach 2 cm long. Unlike many other thistles, this species tends not to be a troublesome noxious weed.[6]

References edit

  1. ^ The Plant List, Cirsium neomexicanum A.Gray
  2. ^ Calflora taxon report, University of California, Cirsium neomexicanum A. Gray, New Mexico thistle, desert thistle
  3. ^ Shreve, F. & I. L. Wiggins. 1964. Vegetation and Flora of the Sonoran Desert 2 vols. Stanford University Press, Stanford
  4. ^ Biota of North America Program 2014 county distribution map
  5. ^ SEINet, southwestern Biodiversity, Arizona Chapter, Cirsium neomexicanum A. Gray includes description, photos, distribution map
  6. ^ a b c Flora of North America, Desert or New Mexico thistle, Cirsium neomexicanum A. Gray
  7. ^ Taylor, Ronald J. (1994) [1992]. Sagebrush Country: A Wildflower Sanctuary (rev. ed.). Missoula, MT: Mountain Press Pub. Co. p. 158. ISBN 0-87842-280-3. OCLC 25708726.

External links edit