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Cirsium carolinianum (Walter) Fernald & Schubert. Carolina Thistle, Spring Thistle, Prairie Thistle. Phen: Apr-Jun (-Jul). Hab: Prairies and open woodlands, primarily over mafic, ultramafic, or calcareous rocks. Dist: N. VA west to s. OH and MO, south to w. SC, n. GA, AL, and TX. In the eastern part of the Southeast, C. carolinianum seems to be restricted to prairies and woodlands (or maintained powerline or road rights-of-way) over circumneutral rocks and soils, in situations which were oak savannas or even prairies prior to fire suppression.

Origin/Endemic status: Endemic

Synonymy: = Ar, C, F, FNA19, G, Il, K1, K3, K4, Oh3, Ok, SE1, Tn, Va, W; = Carduus carolinianus Walter – RAB; > Cirsium flaccidum Small – S; > Cirsium virginianum (L.) Michx. – S, misapplied

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image of plant© Bruce A. Sorrie | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Scott Ward | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Scott Ward | Original Image ⭷