Cirsium pyrenaicum (Pyrenean Thistle)

Scientific Name

Cirsium pyrenaicum (Jacq.) All.

Common Names

Pyrenean Thistle


Carduus jacquinii, Carduus paniculatus, Carduus pyrenaicus, Cirsium castellanum, Cirsium flavispina, Cirsium matritense, Cirsium paniculatum, Cirsium pyrenaicum subsp. pyrenaicum, Cirsium pyrenaicum var. pyrenaicum, Cnicus pyrenaicus

Scientific Classification

Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Cirsium


Color: Purplish
Bloom Time: June to July


Cirsium pyrenaicum is a rhizomatous perennial plant that grows up to 5 feet (1.5 m) tall. Leaves are green, lance-shaped with spiny edges. Flowers are purplish and appear from June to July.

Cirsium pyrenaicum - Pyrenean Thistle
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USDA hardiness zone 3a to 8b: from −40 °F (−40 °C) to 20 °F (−6.7 °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 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 France, Iberian Peninsula, and northwest Morocco.


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