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Cirsium altissimum (Tall thistle)

Beginner
skill rating
2 hours care
per year
2m
Max height
0.5m
Max spread
2-5 years
To maturity

Plant details

Botanical name

Cirsium altissimum

Other names

Tall thistle, Carduus altissimus, Cirsium altissimum var. biltmoreanum, Cirsium diversifolium, Roadside thistle

Genus

Cirsium Cirsium

Species

C. altissimum - C. altissimum is an erect, biennial or short-lived perennial forming a low rosette of elliptic, oblong, or lance-shaped, toothed or shallowly lobed basal leaves in its first year. In its second year, from midsummer into autumn, erect, leafy, sparingly branched stems bear pink to purple-pink flowerheads emerging from a cone of spiny, green bracts.


Cirsium altissimum is: Deciduous

Habit

Erect, Rosette

Flower

Dark-pink, Dark-purple in Summer

Foliage

Green in Summer

How to care

Watch out for

Powdery mildew Powdery mildew

General care

Pruning

If self-seeding becomes a problem, then cut back hard after flowering.

Propagation methods

Seed


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Where to grow

Cirsium altissimum (Tall thistle) will reach a height of 2m and a spread of 0.5m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Beds and borders, Bog garden, Cottage/Informal, Flower Arranging, Low Maintenance, Meadow, Wildflower, Wildlife, Woodland

Cultivation

Best in fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full sun or light shade. Tolerates dry or wet soil. More tolerant of shade than other thistles.

Soil type

Chalky, Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

Companion plants

We do not currently have companion plants added for this plant.

Botanical name

Cirsium altissimum

Other names

Tall thistle, Carduus altissimus, Cirsium altissimum var. biltmoreanum, Cirsium diversifolium, Roadside thistle

Genus

Cirsium Cirsium

Species

C. altissimum - C. altissimum is an erect, biennial or short-lived perennial forming a low rosette of elliptic, oblong, or lance-shaped, toothed or shallowly lobed basal leaves in its first year. In its second year, from midsummer into autumn, erect, leafy, sparingly branched stems bear pink to purple-pink flowerheads emerging from a cone of spiny, green bracts.

Native to

Central United States, Eastern United States

Foliage

Deciduous

Habit

Erect, Rosette


Colour

Flower

Dark-pink, Dark-purple in Summer

Foliage

Green in Summer


How to care

Watch out for

Specific diseases

Powdery mildew

General care

Pruning

If self-seeding becomes a problem, then cut back hard after flowering.

Propagation methods

Seed


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Cirsium altissimum (Tall thistle) will reach a height of 2m and a spread of 0.5m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Beds and borders, Bog garden, Cottage/Informal, Flower Arranging, Low Maintenance, Meadow, Wildflower, Wildlife, Woodland

Cultivation

Best in fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full sun or light shade. Tolerates dry or wet soil. More tolerant of shade than other thistles.

Soil type

Chalky, Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 10, Zone 9, Zone 8, Zone 7, Zone 6, Zone 5, Zone 4

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Chalky, Loamy, Sandy Tell us...
Soil drainage: Moist but well-drained, Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Partial Shade, Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: South, East, West Tell us...
Exposure: Exposed, Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Hardy (H4) Tell us...

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