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Asteraceae / Carduoideae
The Thistle or Artichoke Subfamily of the Aster Family


Key Words: Thistle-like flowers.

      The Thistle or Artichoke subfamily was formerly classified as a tribe of the Aster subfamily, but was reclassified and promoted to the level of subfamily by taxonomists to more accurately represent its genetic relationship with other members of the Aster family. These are often (but not always) spiny, bristly plants, usually with flowerheads wrapped in multiple layers of overlapping bracts with bristly points, like an artichoke. Notice how the flowerheads in each of the photos below resemble little artichokes.

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Centaurea cyanus. Bachelor's Buttons.

Centaurea cyanus. Bachelor's Buttons.

Centaurea cyanus. Bachelor's Buttons.

Centaurea cyanus. Bachelor's Buttons. An introduced ornamental flower.

Centaurea maculosa. Spotted Knapweed.

Centaurea maculosa. Spotted Knapweed.

Centaurea maculosa. Spotted Knapweed.

Centaurea maculosa. Spotted Knapweed. Spotted knapweed is an invasive weed imported from Eurasia. For more information go to spotted knapweed ecology and control.

Centaurea maculosa. Spotted Knapweed.

Centaurea maculosa. Spotted Knapweed.

Centaurea diffusa. Diffuse Knapweed.

Centaurea diffusa. Diffuse Knapweed. Diffuse knapweed is an invasive weed imported from Eurasia. For more information go to knapweed ecology and control.

Centaurea repens. Russian Knapweed.

Centaurea repens. Russian Knapweed. Russian knapweed is an invasive weed imported from Eurasia. For more information and additional pictures, go to Russian knapweed ecology and control.

Centaurea solstitialis. Yellow Star Thistle.

Centaurea solstitialis. Yellow Star Thistle. Yellow star thistle (same genus as knapweed) is an invasive weed imported from Eurasia.

Centaurea solstitialis. Yellow Star Thistle.

Centaurea solstitialis. Yellow Star Thistle.

Centaurea solstitialis. Yellow Star Thistle.

Centaurea solstitialis. Yellow Star Thistle.

Cirsium arvense. Canada Thistle.

Cirsium arvense. Canada Thistle. Canada thistle is an imported invasive weed from Eurasia, not from Canada. For more information go to Canada thistle ecology and control..

Cirsium vulgare. Bull Thistle.

Cirsium vulgare. Bull Thistle. Bull thistle is an imported invasive weed from Eurasia.

Cirsium undulatum. Wavyleaf Thistle.

Cirsium undulatum. Wavyleaf Thistle.

Cirsium undulatum. Wavyleaf Thistle.

Cirsium undulatum. Wavyleaf Thistle.

Cirsium scariosum. Elk Thistle.

Cirsium scariosum. Elk Thistle.

Cirsium scariosum. Elk Thistle.

Cirsium scariosum. Elk Thistle. Elk thistle is a native plant usually found at high elevations.

Carduus nutans. Musk Thistle.

Carduus nutans. Musk Thistle. Musk thistle is an imported invasive weed from Eurasia. For more information go to Musk thistle ecology and control.

Carduus nutans. Musk Thistle.

Carduus nutans. Musk Thistle.

Onopordum acanthium. Wavyleaf Thistle.

Onopordum acanthium.Scotch Cottonthistle. Introduced.

Onopordum acanthium. Wavyleaf Thistle.

Onopordum acanthium.Scotch Cottonthistle. Photographed along the Grande Ronde River, Washington.

Arctium minus. Lesser Burdock.

Arctium minus. Lesser Burdock. An introduced weed with an edible taproot.

Arctium minus. Lesser Burdock.

Arctium minus. Lesser Burdock.

Echinops ritro. Globe Thistle.

Echinops ritro. Globe Thistle.

Echinops ritro. Globe Thistle.

Echinops ritro. Globe Thistle. Cultivated. Native to southern and eastern Europe.

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Roadmap
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Participating in Nature: Wilderness Survival and Primitive Living Skills.
Participating
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Foraging the Mountain West: Gourmet Edible Plants, Mushrooms, and Meat.
Foraging the
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Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
Botany
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Shanleya's
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