Weeds

Thistle, Artichoke

Wild Artichoke

Thistle, Artichoke
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Artichoke thistle is a perennial herb, related to the sunflower. It is common to rangelands, grasslands and abandoned agricultural fields, and can become a problem in untended areas in yards and waste areas. The stout spines on the leaves, stems, and bracts around the flower heads can identify the plant. Wild Artichoke can grow to head height. Its basal leaves, each deeply lobed and gray-green, can grow to 4 feet in length. Smaller leaves grow from the flower stalk as it extends upwards. Flowering occurs from April through July, and features bright purple thistle flower heads, 2-3 inches in diameter. Mature plants can produce more than a dozen flower heads with as many as 200 seeds per head. The weed’s taproot can reach 8 feet in depth, making the plant difficult to control.