Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare)

Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare), Dolly Sods Wilderness, Tucker County, West Virginia, USA

Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare), Dolly Sods Wilderness

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Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare)

The Bull Thistle (Circium vulgare) is a member of the Asteraceae or Aster family.  It is biennial which grows between 2- and 5-feet tall.  The stem is mostly spreading-hairy and conspicuously spiny-winged by the leaf bases.  The leaves, from 3- to 12-inches long and 1- to 4-inches wide, are strongly spiny, rough-hairy above and thinly hairy beneath, and dissected into irregular lobes.  The flower heads, usually several to each leafy spiny stalk, are predominantly purple in color.  The bracts at the base of the flower-head are spine-tipped.  The Bull Thistle can be found in pastures, waste ground and on roadsides throughout North America.  It flowers from June to October.


  1. Lovely Macro. Sharp, colorful, great bokeh. All around nice work!

  2. Lovely work Mark. Excellent macro.

  3. Excellent color and details mark

  4. Love the detail here. Great macro.

  5. Outstanding macro shot, Mark. Love the details on this.

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