Cirsium neomexicanum

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Cirsium neomexicanum
New Mexico Thistle, Cirsium neomexicanum blossom, Albuquerque.JPG
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Cirsium
Species: C. neomexicanum
Binomial name
Cirsium neomexicanum

Carduus inamoenus
Cirsium arcuum
Cirsium utahense
Cirsium wallowense

Cirsium neomexicanum is a species of thistle known by the common names New Mexico thistle, powderpuff thistle, lavender thistle, foss thistle and desert thistle.

This plant is native to the southwestern United States, particularly the Mojave Desert.


Cirsium neomexicanum is a tall plant, routinely exceeding 2 metres (6.6 ft) in height. It erects a stem which may have webby fibers and long, stiff spines. The sparse leaves are greenish-gray, hairy, and very spiny.

Atop the mainly naked stems are inflorescences of one or more large flower heads with rounded bases and phyllaries covered in long, curving spines. The largest heads may be up to 5 centimeters in diameter. They are packed with white or lavender disc florets.

The fruit is a flat brown achene with a long pappus which may reach 2 centimeters long. Unlike many other thistles, this species tends not to be a troublesome noxious weed.

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