musk thistle

(Carduus nutans)

musk thistle









Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 22, 24, 28, 29, 30.

  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Asteranae  


Asterales (sunflowers, bellflowers, fanflowers, and allies)  


Asteraceae (sunflowers, daisies, asters, and allies)  
  Subfamily Carduoideae (thistles and allies)  
  Tribe Cardueae  
  Subtribe Carduinae (thistles and burdocks)  
  Genus Carduus (plumeless thistles)  

Cardueae is a synonym of the tribe name. Cynareae was published first and has precedence. Nevertheless, most sources use the name Cardueae for the tribe.


Subordinate Taxa


musk thistle (Carduus nutans ssp. alpicola)

musk thistle (Carduus nutans ssp. falcatoincurvus)

musk thistle (Carduus nutans ssp. granatensis)

musk thistle (Carduus nutans ssp. leio)

musk thistle (Carduus nutans ssp. leiophyllus)

musk thistle (Carduus nutans ssp. litoralis)

musk thistle (Carduus nutans ssp. macrocephalus)

musk thistle (Carduus nutans ssp. macrolepis)

musk thistle (Carduus nutans ssp. maurus)

musk thistle (Carduus nutans ssp. micropterus)

musk thistle (Carduus nutans ssp. numidicus)

musk thistle (Carduus nutans ssp. nutans)

musk thistle (Carduus nutans ssp. perspinosus)

musk thistle (Carduus nutans ssp. platylepis)

musk thistle (Carduus nutans ssp. platypus)

musk thistle (Carduus nutans ssp. scabrisquamus)

musk thistle (Carduus nutans ssp. siculus)

musk thistle (Carduus nutans ssp. taygeteus)

musk thistle (Carduus nutans ssp. trojanus)

musk thistle (Carduus nutans var. cossonianus)

musk thistle (Carduus nutans var. sporadum)






Common Names


musk thistle

nodding plumeless thistle

nodding plumeless-thistle

nodding thistle

plumeless thistle











Visitor Photos

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Alfredo Colon

    musk thistle      

The Musk Thistle, Carduus nutans, in different phases

    musk thistle   musk thistle  
    musk thistle   musk thistle  
    musk thistle      

Laura Baxley

    musk thistle      
    musk thistle   musk thistle  
    musk thistle   musk thistle  
    musk thistle      



  Carduus nutans
Susanne Wiik
  Carduus nutans  

Nikketistel, Nodding thistle

  Carduus nutans
Matt Lavin
  Carduus nutans  

Introduced annual to biennial herb with stems upwards of 1.5 m tall, the capillary bristles reveal this is not a species of Cirsium and the broad involucral bracts (phyllaries), over 2 mm wide, readily distinguish this species, common in disturbed sites from low elevation to mountain meadows.




Visitor Videos

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Other Videos
  Nodding Thistle (Carduus Nutans) / Musk Thistle - 2012-06-12

Published on Jun 14, 2012

The Musk thistle or Nodding thistle (Carduus nutans) is a member of the sunflower family Asteraceae.

De knikkende distel (Carduus nutans) is een plant uit de composietenfamilie (Asteraceae)

  Weed of the Week #758-Musk Thistle (Air Date 10/14/12)
AgPhD's channel

Published on Oct 17, 2012

It's our Weed of the Week, Musk Thistle




Visitor Sightings

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  Alfredo Colon

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

musk thistle  
  Laura Baxley

Location: Hole-in-the-Mountain Prairie

musk thistle  




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