Cirsium discolor field thistle Asteraceae CIDI; Bx, pb (DeCandido 2001; R, c, ml (Z. Wang);

  

Cirsium discolor.commons.wikipedia.org

Cirsium discolor.commons.wikipedia.org (Accessed 5/2014). (Accessed 5/2014).

Cirsium discolor spiny biennial or perennial, herb, second year stem 1-2 m tall, branching near top, usually hairy but not wooly, finely ribbed but not winged. 

Cirsium discolor leaves. © 2009 k. chayka. Minnesota Wildflowers. minnesotawildflowers.info

Cirsium discolor leaves. © 2009 k. chayka. Minnesota Wildflowers. minnesotawildflowers.info (Accessed 1/2018).

Leaves alternate, stalked, those of first year a rosette, blades to 50 cm long, 20 cm wide, stem leaves becoming progressively smaller above, stalkless, numerous deeply pinnately lobed, lobes spine-tipped, white, wooly below, dark green, slightly hairy above, small upper leaves closely surrounding base of flower heads. 

Cirsium discolor flower head. © 2009 k. chayka. Minnesota Wildflowers. minnesotawildflowers.info

Cirsium discolor flower head. © 2009 k. chayka. Minnesota Wildflowers. minnesotawildflowers.info (Accessed 1/2018).

Flowers purple, all disk flowers, tubular, radially symmetrical, in heads with bracteate base 2-3 cm long, urn-shaped, bracts narrow, densely overlapping, tips of inner bracts colorless, elongate, flower heads usually solitary; blooming July-Oct. 

Fruit dry, 1-seeded, white-plumed, wind dispersed through winter. 

Wetland status: UPL. 

Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent.

 Origin: Native. 

Habitat: Open areas, meadows, fill, roadsides.