E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Cirsium drummondii Torr. & A. Gray
Drummond's thistle (dwarf thistle)
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #74988)

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Distribution of Cirsium drummondii
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Species Information

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Biennial herb from a taproot; stems erect, branched, thick, fleshy, woolly-hairy, simple, 1.2-3.0 m tall.
Basal and stem leaves narrowly oblanceolate to lanceolate, lobed 1/2 or 3/4 the width of the blade, segments oblong-triangular, margins of the segments with 3-5 slender spines, the upper surface glabrous to soft-hairy, the lower surface unevenly hairy, the uppermost leaves narrower, ascending, extending beyond the compact group of heads.
Heads discoid, 1-9, in a terminal cluster; involucres egg-shaped, 3-5 cm tall; involucral bracts glabrous, glandular, graduated, outer ones egg-shaped, tapering to a stout, 2-3 mm spine, inner ones progressively narrower with a broadly dilated, papery, irregularly-margined tip; disk flowers purplish-red, 30-44 mm long, the tubes 20-30 mm long, the lobes 5-7 mm long.
Achenes 4-5.5 mm long, straw-coloured with a light apical rim; pappus whitish, becoming yellowish at maturity, shorter than the corollas by 1-8 mm.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry roadsides, meadows and forest openings in the steppe and lower montane zones; frequent in SC and SE BC, rare in the Peace River area; E to ON and S to WY.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Cirsium coccinatum Osterh.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References