Cirsium edule

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Cirsium edule
Cirsium edule 7396.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Cirsium
Species: C. edule
Binomial name
Cirsium edule
Nutt.

Cirsium edule, the Edible Thistle, is a species of thistle in the genus Cirsium, native to western North America from southeastern Alaska south through British Columbia to Washington and Oregon, and locally inland to Idaho.

All the florets have similar form (Alpine Lakes Wilderness).

It is a tall herbaceous perennial plant, reaching 1-2 m tall. The leaves are very spiny, lobed, 10-30 cm long and 2-5 cm broad (smaller on the upper part of the flower stem). The inflorescence is 3-4 cm diameter, purple, with all the florets of similar form (no division into disc and ray florets). The seeds are 4-5 mm long, with a downy pappus which assists in wind dispersal. It is monocarpic, growing as a low rosette of leaves for a number of years, then sending up the tall flowering stem in spring, with the plant dying after seed maturation.

Edible Thistle is used by Native Americans for its edible roots and young shoots. The roots are sweet, but contain inulin, which gives some people digestive problems.

External links[edit]

Media related to Cirsium edule at Wikimedia Commons