Cirsium monspessulanum (Montpellier Thistle)

Scientific Name

Cirsium monspessulanum (L.) Hill

Common Names

Montpellier Thistle


Carduus monspessulanus (basionym), Cirsium monspessulanum var. monspessulanum, Cirsium monspessulanum subsp. monspessulanum, Carduus cirsium, Carduus glomeratus, Carduus montanus, Carduus semipinnatus, Cirsium allionii, Cirsium bulbosum, Cirsium compactum, Cirsium montanum, Cnicus dentatus, Cnicus monspessulanus, Cnicus pratensis, Cnicus spurius

Scientific Classification

Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Cirsium


Color: Purplish
Bloom Time: June to August


Cirsium monspessulanum is an erect perennial plant that grows up to 5 feet (1.5 m) tall. The leaves are green, lance-shaped with spiny edges. The flowers are purplish and bloom from June to August.

Cirsium monspessulanum - Montpellier Thistle
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USDA hardiness zone 8a to 10b: from 10 °F (−12.2 °C) to 40 °F (+4.4 °C).

How to Grow and Care

The seeds of Cirsium can be sown in either autumn or after the last frost of spring. They should be sown at a depth of 0.12 inches (3 mm). If grown indoors first, then Cirsium takes about 2 to 3 weeks to germinate at 70 to 75 °F (21 to 24 °C). The seedlings should be planted out in early spring when it is still possible to get a frost with a spacing of about 2 feet (60 cm).

Cirsium thrives in full sun and poor, average, or reach soil that is moist but well-drained. Plants require little care, but deadheading limits their tendency to self-sow. They generally self-sow only in moderation, and unlike weedy thistles, the seedlings are easy to pull up. Use Thistles in mixed beds, herb gardens, or meadow-like plantings. See more at How to Grow and Care for Thistles (Cirsium).


Native to the western Mediterranean.


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