yellowspine thistle, more...
[Cnicus ochrocentrus (A. Gray) A. Gray]
Perennials, 30-90 cm; crown sprouts or runner roots producing adventitious buds. Stems 1-20+, erect or ascending, densely gray-tomentose with non-septate trichomes; branches 0 or few, usually in distal 1/2, ascending. Leaves: blades oblong to narrowly elliptic, 10-30 × 2-8 cm, strongly undulate, margins coarsely dentate or shallowly to deeply pinnatifid with 8-15 pairs of lobes 0.5-2 cm, often revolute, lobes ± triangular, closely spaced, spreading, spinose-dentate and cleft into 2-5 spine-tipped divisions, main spines 5-20 mm, yellowish, abaxial faces densely white-tomentose, adaxial thinly gray-tomentose; basal usually present at flowering, winged-petiolate; principal cauline sessile, progressively reduced distally, bases ± auriculate to long-decurrent as spiny wings; distal cauline usually much reduced, less lobed. Heads 1-few, in leafy, ± corymbiform arrays. Peduncles 0-4 cm. Involucres ovoid to hemispheric or broadly campanulate, 2.5-4.5 × 2.5-4.5 cm in first-formed heads, often smaller in later ones, loosely arachnoid on phyllary margins or glabrate. Phyllaries in 5-10 series, imbricate, ovate (outer) to linear-lanceolate (inner), margins entire, abaxial faces with narrow glutinous ridge; outer and middle appressed, spines spreading, 3-12 mm; apices of inner often flexuous, expanded and flat, scabrid-margined, sometimes erose, spineless. Corollas white or pale lavender to purple, pink, or red, 25-45 mm, tubes 8-25 mm, throats 6-17 mm, lobes 6-15 mm; style tips 2-8 mm. Cypselae light brown, sometimes with lighter or darker streaks, 6-9 mm, apical collars colored like the body, narrow; pappi (white or tawny), 20-40 mm, usually noticeably shorter than corolla. 2n = 30, 31, 32, 34.
Plant: Biennial or short-lived perennial forb to 80 cm; roots creeping; stems usually single to sparingly branched; herbage with short woolly hairs Leaves: leaves alternate, 5-15 cm long, with tufts of soft woolly hairs on the surface and densely woolly pubescent on the underside, pinnately cleft into narrow lobes not reaching the midrib, and long yellowish spines at lobe tips INFLORESCENCE: primary inflorescence a head, each resembling a flower; heads discoid, 1-few in cymes; peduncles 0-10 cm, leafy; involucres 2.5-3.5 cm, 2-3.5 cm diam, ± ovoid to bell-shaped, ± loosely tomentose, becoming glabrous; phyllaries strongly graduated (outer ovate, inner oblong), minutely roughened or toothed, tightly appressed, midribs of middle phyllaries often with glandular area, spines 5-12 mm, stout, spreading to reflexed, inner with tips erect or recurved, ± twisted, flat, sometimes ± expanded and fringed Flowers: corollas 29-37 mm, ± bilateral, rose to cream colored; tube 14-17 mm, slender; throat 7-10 mm; lobes 8-11 mm; anther bases sharply sagittate, tips oblong; style tip with slightly swollen node, appendage (above node) long, cylindric, branches very short Fruit: 7-8 mm, light brown, ± thick, ovoid, glabrous; scar slightly angled; pappus 25-30 mm, bristles many, plumose Misc: Disturbed places, fields; < 1700 m; Apr-Jul