Cirsium arizonicum – Arizona Thistle

Cirsium arizonicum - Arizona Thistle

Cirsium arizonicum - Arizona Thistle

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Cirsium arizonicum

Synonyms: Cirsium nidulum, Cnicus arizonicus

Common Name: Arizona Thistle

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Biennial, Perennial

Growth Habit: Herb/Forb

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Upland, Mountain. It grows at elevations from 3000 to 7000 feet (914 to 2134 m) in foothill canyons, in chaparral, or at the edges of pine forests.

Flower Color: Red

Flowering Season: Spring (late), Summer

Height: To 4 feet (1.2 m) tall

Description: The flower heads are slender (for a thistle), up to 2 inches (5 cm) long, and surrounded by spine-tipped bracts. The leaves are alternate, narrowly egg-shaped, and pinnately-lobed with spiny teeth.

Special Characteristics

Hummingbird Flower – The flowers attract hummingbirds.


Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae – Aster family
Genus: Cirsium Mill. – thistle
Species: Cirsium arizonicum (A. Gray) Petr. – Arizona thistle

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map