Advanced Search Map Locator
View Settings
Nurseries Carrying this Plant Add Current Plant To List Edit Current Plant
Show all Photos

About Calscape Nurseries
California Garden Planner Bay Area Garden Planner (NEW) Planting Guide
Butterflies My Plant Lists
Contact Calscape
Tap map to see plants native to location
Order by Popularity Order by Common Name Order by Scientific Name Order by # of Butterflies Hosted
Show nursery cultivars Hide nursery cultivars
Show plants not in nurseries Hide plants not in nurseries
Grid view Text view
Fountain Thistle
Cirsium fontinale
About Fountain Thistle (Cirsium fontinale) 1 Nurseries Carry This Plant Cirsium fontinale or Fountain thistle is an flowering perennial herb of the Asteraceae family, endemic to a limited region within northern and central California at an elevation not exceeding 750 meters. Occurrences appear limited to serpentine seeps and streams within portions of the San Francisco Bay Area and Outer South Coast Ranges. The Cirsium genus is commonly known as the "thistle" genus, Cirsium being the Greek word for thistle. There are three recognized varieties of this species: All the taxa within Cirsium fontinale have erect stems with leaves very strongly wavy margins. These tall plants may attain a height of 2.2 meters, but may exist in the form of only 0.5 meters. A given plant may have one or more stems, and the plants are sometimes short-lived, dying after flowering only once, even though the species is acknowledged to be perennial. Lower leaves are typically petioled or tapered, but mostly spiny-lobed; petioles are either spiny-lobed or toothed.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Perennial herb

3.6 - 7.2 ft tall

Flower Color
Flower Color
Pink, Purple

Wildlife Supported

Landscaping Information
Full Sun


Common uses
Common uses
Butterfly Gardens

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
seeps and streams

Annual Precipitation: 14.9" - 31.1", Summer Precipitation: 0.19" - 0.45", Coldest Month: 44.8" - 50.5", Hottest Month: 64.6" - 73.1", Humidity: 0.61" - 20.13", Elevation: 122" - 3568"

Alternative Names
Common Names: Chorro Creek Bog Thistle

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

Sign in to your Calscape Account X

Once signed in, you'll be able to access any previously saved plant lists or create new ones.

Email Address

Sign In