Cirsium occidentale is a very variable species, generally considered to comprise seven varieties[
Carduus bernardinus Greene
Carduus californicus Greene
Carduus candidissimus Greene
Carduus occidentalis Nutt.
Carduus venustus Greene
Cirsium bernardinum Davidson & Moxley
Cirsium bernardinum Petr.
Cirsium californicum A.Gray
Cirsium candidissimum Davidson & Moxley
Cirsium coulteri Harv. & Gray
Cirsium coulteri Jeps.
Cirsium pastoris J.T.Howell
Cirsium proteanum J.T.Howell
Cnicus californicus A.Gray
Cnicus lilacinus Greene
Cnicus neglectus Parish ex Greene
Cnicus occidentalis A.Gray
Common Name: Cobwebby Thistle
Cirsium occidentale is a prickly, biennial plant growing from a taproot; it produces a basal rosette of leaves and a single flowering stem that can range from 5 - 400cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials.
South-western N. America - Oregon, California, Nevada, northwest Mexico
Coastal scrub, dunes, pine-oak woodlands, riparian woodlands, arid woodlands, chaparral, openings in mixed evergreen forests, roadsides; at elevations from near sea level to 2,300 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Pollinators||Bees, Flies, Lepidoptera, Beetles, Self
Some forms of Cirsium occidentale are not very frost-hardy and are unlikely to succeed outside the milder areas of the temperate zone[
Cirsium species are generally easily grown plants, succeeding in any ordinary garden soil in a sunny position[
A polymorphic species, a number of varieties are recognised[
Heads of var. candidissimum are actively visited by hummingbirds as well as a variety of insects[
Root - cooked[
]. A pleasant taste after prolonged boiling[
]. The root 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 and eaten raw[
The seed of all species of thistles yields a good oil by expression[
]. No details of potential yields etc are given[
Seed - sow early spring or autumn in situ. Germination usually takes place within 2 - 8 weeks at 20°c[
Division in spring or autumn.