Cirsium discolor

Common Names: Field thistle
Category: Plants
Sub-category: Aster family

A biennial or perennial herb up to 200 cm tall, producing a large taproot. There is usually only one stem with numerous spiny leaves that are green on the upper side but white and woolly underneath. The plant has pink or lavender flower heads. Heads have many disc florets but no ray florets.

The species grows primarily in damp areas in forest openings, prairies, and disturbed sites. Blooms in late summer/early fall.

Primary Flower Color: Pink
Secondary Flower Color: Blue/Purple
Edible Notes: The leaves can be boiled to wilt the spines. The root and stalk are edible the first year. Look for thistle tea in natural food stores.
Warnings: Avoid the sharp spines which can cause injury.