Cirsium occidentale

Snowy Thistle

Erect single-stemmed plant, basal leaves deciduous, densely white with matted woolly hairs. Leaves oblong, pinnately lobed halfway to midrib; lobes triangular, toothed or divided. Lower leaves with bristly petioles winged so that they appear 4-sided. Flower heads held singly or tightly clustered at stem and branch tips. Flowers usually bright red, occasionally pink or white, held in egg-shaped cup 1/2–2 in. deep, covered with white cobwebby hairs. Grows on rocky serpentine, but not exclusively, below 6000 ft. Found in Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument and elsewhere in Klamath Mountains.

  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Flowering Time: Late Spring, Early Summer
  • Life Cycle: Biennial, Perennial
  • Height: 3--4 feet
  • Habitat: West-Side Forest, Shrub-Steppe, East-Side Forest
  • Found In: Siskiyous
  • Native: Yes