Cirsium Species, Southern Thistle, Texas Purple Thistle, Texas Thistle

Cirsium texanum

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cirsium (SIR-see-um) (Info)
Species: texanum (tek-SAY-num) (Info)
Synonym:Cirsium austrinum
Synonym:Cirsium helleri
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Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


Unknown - Tell us


USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

8.6 to 9.0 (strongly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Wethersfield, Connecticut

Arlington, Texas

De Leon, Texas

Desoto, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Lampasas, Texas

New Braunfels, Texas

Plano, Texas

Red Oak, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Universal City, Texas

Victoria, Texas

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 2, 2017, TV82nd wrote:

Having spent 4 yrs living on President LBJ's National Park, I realized aside from the Bluebonnet, the Texas Thistle is the most abundant growing beauty in the Hill Country area. It's vibrant color and bloom are truly exquisite. Precisely due to this flower, began my love of photographing the local Hill Country flowers and blooms. I have a wonderful collection now, but my favorite, hands down, is the Cirsium Texanum.


On May 30, 2014, goofballTex from Plano, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I've been growing the Texas thistle in a container for four years, and it's finally blooming this year. The blooms are beautiful and so very fragrant; exactly like sweet perfume. It's a valuable native plant that attracts bees and butterflies, and it's pretty much pest free. It is a thistle, though, with its sharp spines and prolific seed-bearing, so it's not for everyone. However, if you love native plants and naturescaping, then Texas thistle is a must.


On May 3, 2009, BajaBlue from Rancho Santa Rita, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

This is one of those plants where one gardener's treasure is another gardener's treasure. In this area of Texas, (North Central Texas Dallas-Fort Worth,: these grow wild on the freeway medians
hey easily get taller than me, and I am 5 foot w in. They have a beauriful bloom, but are impossible to handle without very thick gloves. They self seed promiscuouslt and are almost impossible
to eradicate.
Imho, they are best enjoyed in photographs or drawings. Their only saving grace would be the attractiveness to bees, But there are many many better ways to attract bees!


On May 24, 2004, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

San Antonio, Tx.
An upright perennial that has spiny leaves and bracts, it can grow can grow from between two to five feet tall. Although the flower head does not have ray flowers, it has numerous pink to rose-purple disk flowers. It is foraged by butterflies and other insects and birds, such as the goldfinch, eat the seeds. White-tailed deer sometimes eat the flower buds and Rio Grande turkeys eat the seeds.


On Apr 29, 2004, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

The Texas thistle is a wonderful Native plant. It is annual or biennial and it takes up a bit of space but the benefits are worth it. The flowers are gorgeos and butterflies love them.
Also the sphinx moths come out at night some as big a hummingbirds, and they hang around the flowers with their long proboscis a few inches long feeding on the nectar.
It is amazing watching them at night with a flash light. Also the goldfinches use the fluff from the flowers for their nests and eat the seeds.