Bull Thistle


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British Columbia Outdoor Wilderness Guide
Bull Thistle
Bull Thistle
(Cirsium vulgare)

The Bull Thistle is a biennial, in the aster family, grows from 30-200 cm. tall. In the first year, Bull Thistle is merely a low-growing group of prickly leaves, while in the second year the stems grow to become woody and branched


LEAVES:
- Bull Thistle leaves are long, sharp and deeply lobed
- spines on the upper surfaces and on the tips
- the base of the leaves attach to the stem like protruding spines
FLOWERS:
- purple disk flowers of large composite heads
- set upon an orb of overlapping green bracts that is completely covered by spines
FRUIT:
- one seeded and shiny brown
- covered with fluffy white bristles
HABITAT:
- Bull Thistle is found in low to mid elevations
- clearings and pastures and other areas of disturbance
FASCINATING FACTS:
- Bull Thistle was imported from Europe & Asia
- It is the only thistle that has a spines on the surface of the leaf
- The Bull Thistle flowers are enjoyed by insects and butterflies

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Bull Thistle