Plant Image
Willow Dells Tr - SS

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Cirsium neomexicanum - New Mexico thistle

Other Common Names: Utah Thistle
Plant Form: Forb

Family: Asteraceae

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Willow Dells Tr
Flower bud
Willow Dells Tr
Willow Dells Tr
Willow Dells Tr
Young plant - spring
Willow Dells Tr
Plant - summer
Aspen Creek Tr
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Biennial or perennial
General Desc: A colorful weed often noticed along highways in Arizona. Thistles are generally disliked for their spines and tendency to invade pastures (cattle avoid them) but they are a good resource for wildlife.
Height: 2 to 10 feet


Habitat Description: Slopes, plains, mesas, roadsides, canyons
Plant Communities: Desert Scrub, Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 1000 - 6500 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: White to pink to purple     Shape: Daisy or Dandelion-like not in clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: Mar - Jul
Description: Flower head is 2 to 3 inches wide, disk shaped, of thin tubular disk flowers on a spherical green base of spiny bracts; outer bracts point downwards.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Dark green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Triangular     Leaf Margin: Lobed     Leaf Attachment: Basal and alternate     Leaves Clasp: Y
Hairs: Leaves and stems     Spines: Y
Leaf Description: Oblong leaves, 2-1/2 to 14 inches long. Coarsely lobed with each lobe ending in a sharp spine; upper leaves are much smaller, clasping.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Type: Achene

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 3.1  
Last Updated: June 15, 2013  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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