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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Gray Green Thistle - Cirsium canovirens
Other Names:  Cirsium cymosum, Cirsium subniveum, Cirsium inamoenum

Global Rank: G4G5
State Rank: S3S4
* (see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 4

External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Cirsium canovirens is treated as a variety (Cirsium cymosum variety canovirens) by the Flora of North America (FNA 2006). Whether treated at the species or variety level this plant occurs in southwest Montana where it is fairly common. In general thistles are under-collected, and more location data would be welcomed.
General Description
Taprooted biennial. Stems erect, branched above or not, 30–100 cm, sometimes with spiny wings from leaf bases. Herbage tomentose to arachnoid, upper leaf surfaces sometimes sparsely so. Leaves short-petiolate; blade linear-oblanceolate, 8–25 cm long, pinnately lobed, becoming clasping or decurrent upward. Inflorescence heads 1 to few at tips of peduncles forming corymbiform arrays; peduncles 1–8 cm long. Involucres broadly campanulate, 15–30 mm high, sparsely arachnoid-tomentose; phyllaries imbricate in 6 to 10 series, green, linear-lanceolate; sometimes with a darkened, often resinous midvein; spines 2–6 mm long, spreading. Disk corollas white to light purple, 15–26 mm long. Achenes 5–8 mm long (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range

Range Comments
OR to MT to CA, NV and WY (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Summary of Observations Submitted for Montana
Number of Observations: 5

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Sagebrush steppe, grasslands, open forest; montane, subalpine (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

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Citation for data on this website:
Gray Green Thistle — Cirsium canovirens.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from