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Bristle Thistle, Musk Thistle, Nodding Thistle, Nodding Plumeless Thistle - Carduus nutans


Family: Asteraceae - Aster family Genus Common Name: Plumeless Thistle Native Status: Introduced
Carduus nutans - Bristle Thistle, Musk Thistle, Nodding Thistle, Nodding Plumeless Thistle. Carduus nutans is not native to the United States, but has spread to nearly every state as well as to most of Canada. It is on the official noxious weed list in at least 25 states. Feel free to pull it up and discard it, but use gloves!

Found in:
AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, WV, WY

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Carduus nutans

Distribution of Carduus nutans in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2009. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 25 Mar 2017). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

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Site: Rutherford County, TN Date: 2009-June-13Photographer: Cindy Williamson
Bristle Thistle is also known as Musk Thistle and Nodding Thistle, but I like the sound of Bristle Thistle.
Carduus nutans

Site: Rutherford County, TN Date: 2009-June-13Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nodding Thistle's blossom is a cluster of small disk flowers at the end of a long stalk. This is another member of Asteraceae which has no ray flowers. The upper part of the stalk is mostly smooth up to the involucre, and the lower part is clasped by spiny wing-like leaves.
Carduus nutans

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer