Cirsium scariosum var. thorneae

S. L. Welsh

Great Basin Naturalist 42: 201. 1982.

Common names: Thorne’s thistle
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 19. Treatment on page 157. Mentioned on page 154, 155, 156, 158.

Plants erect, caulescent (rarely nearly acaulescent), 20–130 cm. Stems distally short-branched to openly much-branched throughout, leafy, glabrous or villous with septate trichomes. Leaves: blades oblong, oblanceolate, or narrowly elliptic, usually pinnately lobed more than halfway to midveins, abaxial faces glabrous or gray-tomentose, adaxial glabrous; distal usually deeply divided, fiercely armed with stout spines, the longer 1–3 cm. Heads 1–10+, sessile or pedunculate, solitary or crowded near tip of main stem or branches, usually subtended and ± overtopped by distal leaves. Involucres (broadly ovoid to hemispheric) 2.5–3.5 cm. Phyllaries: outer and mid lanceolate to narrowly ovate, spines slender to stout, 2–8 mm; apices of inner usually abruptly expanded into scarious, erose-toothed appendages. Corollas white to dull purple, 29–34 mm, tubes 14–18 mm, throats 6.5–9 mm, lobes 7–8.5 mm; style tips 5–6.5 mm. Cypselae 4.5–5 mm; pappi 20–27 mm.

Phenology: Flowering summer (Jun–Sep).
Habitat: Meadows, streamsides, valley bottoms, often in saline soils
Elevation: 1500–2200 m


Variety thorneae grows mostly in the Basin and Range province of Utah with populations in eastern Nevada, southern Idaho, and western Colorado.

Selected References


Lower Taxa

David J. Keil +
S. L. Welsh +
Asteraceae tribe Cynareae +
Thorne’s thistle +
Colo. +, Idaho +, Nev. +  and Utah. +
1500–2200 m +
Meadows, streamsides, valley bottoms, often in saline soils +
Flowering summer (Jun–Sep). +
Great Basin Naturalist +
Cirsium hookerianum var. scariosum +
Cirsium scariosum var. thorneae +
Cirsium scariosum +
variety +