The Temperate Database is in the process of being updated, with new records being added and old ones being checked and brought up to date where necessary. This record has not yet been checked and updated.
Common Name: Indian Thistle
Cirsium brevistylum is a Annual/Biennial up to 1.80 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials.
Western N. America - British Colombia to California, east to Idaho and Montana.
Coastal meadows, marshes, swamps, riparian woodlands, moist sites in coastal scrub, chaparral, coastal woodlands, mixed conifer-hardwood forests, or coniferous forests, sea level to 1000 metres[
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. The plant is a short-lived perennial, and is often biennial[
]. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus.
An easily grown plant, succeeding in any ordinary garden soil in a sunny position[
Root - peeled and eaten raw or cooked[
]. One of the more palatable thistle roots[
]. The thick, carrot-like taproot is likely to be rich in inulin, a starch that cannot be digested by humans. This starch thus passes straight through the digestive system and, in some people, ferments to produce flatulence[
Stem - peeled[
]. One of the more palatable thistles[
The flowerheads have been chewed to obtain the nectar[
The seed of all species of thistles yields a good oil by expression[
]. No details of potential yields etc are given[
The seed floss has been spun with yellow cedar (Chamaecyparis notkatensis) inner bark to make clothing for babies[
Seed - sow early spring or autumn in situ. Germination usually takes place within 2 - 8 weeks at 20°c.