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House with native plants and animalsGoing Native: Urban Landscaping for Wildlife with Native Plants
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Yellow Thistle (Cirsium horridulum)

Yellow Thistle is a herbaceous perennial that may grow 2 to 5 feet tall. The leaves are deeply incised and extremely bristled. Young leaves are extremely wooly. In late spring to early summer, a 3-inch, yellow flower head that is enclosed in purple or white spiny bracts matures.


Host plant for the Little Metalmark and Painted Lady butterflies. Flowers are attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies. Songbirds eat the seeds.

Plant Type Herb/Wildflower
Leaf Type Deciduous
Deer Resistance Moderate
Regions Piedmont, Coastal Plain
Light Full Sun
Soil Moist, Dry
Bloom Times Spring
Seed Times Fall
Wildlife Value Seed or Nut, Hummingbird Nectar, Butterfly/Insect Nectar, Butterfly Larvae Host
NC Forest ServiceNC Cooperative Extension