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Prairie Thistle (Cirsium discolor)

Beautiful purple flowers stand out in the summer prairie, attracting pollinators when in flower and birds for the seed. This thistle gets a bad wrap because it looks similar to some of the non-native invasive thistles, however this native species is a biennial or short-lived perennial and only spreads by seed... it is not considered aggressive at all and is an important plant of many Illinois prairies.


  • Acronym: CIRDIS
  • Life-Cycle: Biennial or Short-Lived Perennial
  • Bloom Color: Purple
  • Bloom Time: August - October
  • Typical Height: 72"
  • Light Preference: Full Sun
  • Soil Preference: Mesic
  • Root Structure: Taproot
  • Stratification: None Required
  • Seeds per Ounce: 6,200*
  • IL County Ecotypes we Grow**
    1. LaSalle County


Other scientific names used for this species:

  • None


Other common names used for this species:

  • Pasture Thistle


*Approximate, actual number of seeds may vary slightly by seed lot.

**We have listed the County ecotypes that we grow for this species, this ecotype may or may not be available at the time of your order. If you prefer one of the ecotypes over another please type it into the "Additional Info Section" and we'll provide that ecotype if it's available, if it is not available we will provide one of the other ecotypes listed.

Cirsium discolor - Per Ounce

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