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Franciscan Thistle
Cirsium andrewsii
About Franciscan Thistle (Cirsium andrewsii) 0 Nurseries Carry This Plant Cirsium andrewsii is an uncommon species of thistle known by the common name Franciscan thistle. It is endemic to California, where it is known from the coastline of the San Francisco Bay Area from Marin to San Mateo Counties. There are also reports of isolated populations in the Klamath Mountains and in the Sierra Nevada. Cirsium andrewsii grows in coastal habitats such as sea bluffs and canyons, and is sometimes found on serpentine soils. The species is biennial to perennial, producing an erect, leafy stem which can reach two meters in height. It is highly branched, dense to clumpy, fleshy, and cobwebby with fibers, especially when new. The leaves are woolly or cobwebby, spiny along the edges, and sometimes lack lobes or deep cuts. They are borne on petioles with winged, spiny margins, some spines exceeding a centimeter in length. The inflorescence produces one or more flower heads, each up to 3 centimeters long by 5 wide, wispy with cobwebby fibers, and lined with very spiny phyllaries. The flower head is packed with dark purplish-pink flowers up to about 2. 5 centimeters in length. The fruit is an achene with a dark brown body about half a centimeter long and a pappus about 1. 5 centimeters long.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Perennial herb

6.6 ft tall

Flower Color
Flower Color
Pink, Purple

Wildlife Supported

Landscaping Information
Natural Setting
Annual Precipitation: 13.4" - 60.3", Summer Precipitation: 0.27" - 1.70", Coldest Month: 29.0" - 50.7", Hottest Month: 55.7" - 68.5", Humidity: 0.37" - 20.84", Elevation: 7" - 8201"

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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