Thistle, Yellow Spine - Cirsium ochrocentrum

(Spanish: cardo)

Family: Aster - (Asteraceae) - Native


Just off road from Park Headquarters on path before #16 (N35D32'56.927 X W105D41'14.202)

Flowers first observed: 7/19/17

The Plant

Plant w/flower




"Found in open areas, grasslands, and often in disturbed areas, from 4,500-8,000 ft (1372-2438 m); flowers June-October. Distribution: CA east to SD, south through AZ, NM and TX to n MEX." (SEINet)


"The broad, brushlike flower heads have numerous disk flowers, no rays, and green, yellow spine-tipped phyllaries (bracts). The leaves usually have curled-under margins and are green with a thin covering of woolly gray hair above, densely covered with white woolly hair below, alternate, deeply pinnately lobed, edged with stout, sharp, yellow spines, and oblong, narrowly elliptic, or oblanceolate in shape. The leaf lobes are tilted downwards so that they are almost perpendicular to the rest of the leaf, giving the leaves a wavy, undulating appearance. The stems are sturdy, erect to ascending, and covered in a dense mat of grayish white hair.

---Flower Color: Pink, Red, White, Pale lavender to purple" (

Ethnobotanical Uses


"Used as a wash for burns and sores; as a contraceptive; as a treatment for syphilis and diabetes; the roots were eaten; and blossoms were scattered at burial sites to keep wolves from digging up the body." (SEINet)

Internet Links