Friday, August 28, 2009

Cirsium discolor at Dusk

I was walking our trails last evening when I saw a beautiful Cirsium discolor (Field Thistle) in flower with the moon in the background. I couldn't resist a shot.


Cirsium discolor is a biennial or short-lived perennial member of the Asteraceae that is native to the eastern half of North America. It occurs in tallgrass prairies, moist meadows, glades, old fields, pastures, and openings in woods, reaching heights of up to 8 feet tall. While it can be found in quality habitats, C. discolor also can withstand quite a bit of degradation. Unlike C. arvense (Canada Thistle), which spreads by rhizomes, C. discolor has a taproot and does not form colonies. The genus name Cirsium comes in part from the Greek word cirsos, meaning "swollen vein," as thistle was once used to treat this ailment. The specific epithet discolor is a reference to the leaves being different colors (green on the top and densely white hairy on the underside).

4 comments:

Keith said...

Wow - that is a nice photo!

Scott said...

Thanks Keith! Lucky shot.

Keith said...

I'll bet you had to run back to the house for the camera. It was worth it! This photo gives me an idea - photograph a moonflower or moonwort in a similar fashion. It could happen!

Scott said...

I actually had the camera with me. I used Lindsay's camera, which fits in my pocket. It takes video, and I was planning on audio/videotaping any singing insects I could find. When I saw Cirsium discolor with the moon in the background, I couldn't resist.

I'm not familiar with the common names moonflower or moonwort...