Purple thistle, yellow thistle
Synonyms: Carduus horridulus
Life Span: annual
Size: Height: 1-4 ft Width: 1-2 ft
Flower Color: white,pink,purple
Fruit Color: white
Phenology: winter dormant
Noted for: Showy flowers, thorns, interesting foliage
Recommended Uses: Natural landscapes including meadows and butterfly gardens.
Considerations: Purple thistle is a thorny plant - be very careful when handling.
Propagation: Readily self seeds. Following pollination the flower head can be bagged to collect the seed head which follows.
Salt Tolerance: Moderately salt tolerant
Soil or other substrate: Sand
Soil pH Range: 6.1 - 7.8
Larval host to little metalmark (Calephelis virginiensis) and painted lady (Vanessa cardui) butterflies. It is also a nectar source for native and bubblebees. The seeds are rich in oil, an important food source for seed-eating birds. Also beetles eat the flowers.
Native Habitats: coastal plain, edges of salt marshes, pinewoods, prairies and disturbed areas.
Distribution and Planting Zones
Natural Range in Florida
USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures
Suitable to grow in: