Cobweb Thistle

(Cirsium occidentale)
Cobweb Thistle
Cobweb Thistle near Crissy Marsh.

Will Elder, NPS


Origin of genus name: Cirsium is Greek for "thistle."

Presidio locations: Found in dune grassland and dune scrub.

Range in state: Throughout most of California.

Description: This native perennial species has solitary, pink-to-rose flowers on stout, leafy stems up to 2 feet in height with narrow, alternating, spiny leaves up to 12 inches long. A webbing of filmy, white threads winds below the flower heads and the underside of the leaves. Blooms March to May.

Native Californian Uses: The spring stems were skinned and eaten raw by the Tubatulabal and the Kawaiisu. A tea was made from the roots by the Ohlone and used to treat asthma.

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Last updated: February 28, 2015

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