Becoming . . . .


Sumner, United States

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A Musk Thistle getting ready to bloom along a rural northeast Iowa road. USA
Image taken “As Is” using my Canon PowerShot SX60.

Carduus nutans L.
Biennial or sometimes winter annual
Height: 1.5 – 9 feet tall
Family: Asteraceae – Sunflower Family
Flowering Period: May, June, July, August
Also Called: Nodding thistle.
Stems: Erect, stout, much branched, with spiny wings.
Leaves: Alternate, simple, glabrous to sparsely or densely hairy on the veins below; margins deeply serrated to pinnately lobed; veins extend beyond margins as spines; basal leaves form rosette of lanceolate to broadly elliptic blades, 6 to 20 inches long; margins often whitish; upper stem leaves lanceolate, 1/2 to 6 inches long; sessile or clasping.
Inflorescences: Heads, solitary, 1.5 to 3 inches in diameter, hemispheric in shape, often “nodding” at maturity, terminating branches.
Flowers: Involcural bracts lanceolate, 1/2 to 1 inches long, in several series, overlapping; tips spreading or reflexed, with spines; ray florets absent, disk florets slender, tubular, rose, pink or purplish, to 1.2 inch tall.
Fruits: Achene, glabrous, oblong, 1/8 to 1/5 inch long, with longitudinal lines; pappus of numerous hair-like bristles; bristles up to 4/5 inch long, joined basally.
Habitat: Pastures, prairie ravines, open woodlands, waste areas, and fertile lowlands.

Artwork Comments

  • lorilee
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  • Larry Trupp
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  • barnsis
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  • AngieDavies
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  • BekimART
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  • Catherine Sherman
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  • Monnie Ryan
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  • WalnutHill
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  • Art-by-Renate
  • lorilee
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