Cirsium oleraceum (Cabbage Thistle)

Scientific Name

Cirsium oleraceum (L.) Scop.

Common Names

Cabbage Thistle, Siberian Thistle


Carduus acanthifolius, Carduus oleraceus, Carduus parviflorus, Carduus rigens, Carduus tataricus, Cirsium braunii, Cirsium flavescens, Cirsium pallens, Cirsium parviflorum, Cirsium praemorsum, Cirsium rigens, Cirsium subalatum, Cirsium thomasii, Cirsium variabile, Cnicus bracteatus, Cnicus oleraceus, Cynara colorata

Scientific Classification

Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Cirsium


Color: Pale yellow
Bloom Time: July to September


Cirsium oleraceum is a herbaceous perennial plant with unbranched stems or with only a very few branches. It grows up to 5 feet (1.5 m) tall. Leaves are egg-shaped with a weakly spiny margin. Flowers are pale yellow, sometimes tinged pink, and produced in dense flower heads, which are up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter.

Cirsium oleraceum - Cabbage Thistle
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USDA hardiness zone 6a to 10b: from −10 °F (−23.3 °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 a temperature of 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 24 degrees Celsius). 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 central and eastern Europe and Asia.


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