Cirsium eatonii var. eriocephalum

(Alpine Thistle)

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Cirsium eatonii var. eriocephalum, Black Powder Pass, Summit Co. 05070

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Cirsium eatonii var. eriocephalum, Mosquito Pass, Park Co. 2953

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Cirsium eatonii var. eriocephalum, Mosquito Pass, Park Co. 2933

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Cirsium eatonii var. eriocephalum, Loveland Pass, Clear Creek Co. 1598

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Cirsium eatonii var. eriocephalum, Loveland Pass, Clear Creek Co. 1576

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Cirsium eatonii var. eriocephalum, Loveland Pass, Clear Creek Co. 2883

Scientific Name Cirsium eatonii var. eriocephalum (Cirsium scopulorum) USDA PLANTS Symbol CISC3
Common Name Alpine Thistle, Mountain Thistle, Frosty Ball ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 780840
Family Asteraceae (Sunflower) SEINet
Reference
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Description Life zones and habitat: Subalpine and alpine (10500 to 13500 ft.); open areas, meadows; windswept alpine ridges.
Plant: Upright perennial, 8 to 32 inches tall; stout, spiney stem.
Leaves: Basal and stem leaves, lanceolate 1 to 13 inches long, deeply pinnately-incised with lobes tipped by spines 1/2-inch long; smooth above, woolly-hairy below.
Inflorescence: Clusters of very hairy flower heads, often nodding; densely-hairy bracts with spines 3/8 to 3/4-inch long; white to yellow or light pink disk florets in the center; no ray flowers.
Bloom Period: July to September.
References: "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield, "Guide to Colorado Wildflowers" by G.K. Guennel and SEINet.
BONAP Distribution Map

Colorado Status:
Native

© Tom Lebsack 2022

Banner photo: Ten Mile Range and Rhodiola integrifolia (King’s Crown) in Summit County