Both are terrific! Your gorgeous artistic close-up shot of C. achtarovii has me longing for that one, the the idea of a slowly spreading dwarf yellow one certain has its appeal too. Yes, the hot weather might very well induce some seed, and without the usual litany of thunderstorms to possibly ruin seed.
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
The C. achtarovii is a nice one, but the size of the plant and the brevity of the bloom are less impressive in real life than in a photograph. I imagine it would be more ..........impressive? in a grouping, so if possible I'm going to try to grow about 10 or so in one section of the garden. THAT would be impressive.
Peter George, Petersham, MA (north central MA, close to the NH/VT borders), zones 5b and 6 around the property.
Years ago I grew Centaurea urvillei ssp armata, from Czech seed. Beautiful straw colored flowers and serious spines.I grew another one (this would have been at the time of the NARGS conference in Vail) at the same time that was labeled "sp.", which, you would think, would stand for "species", but really stood for "Spines of Death, Invisible". The effect of putting your hand into the plant (like, to see if it really had spines) was similar to putting your hand into a nest of razor blades. I dug it out.
extreme western edge of Denver, Colorado; elevation 1705.6 meters, average annual precipitation 30cm; refuses to look at thermometer if it threatens to go below -17C
Not strictly a thistle and not very spiny but it is the best here at the moment. Sonchus asper is a weed! However, I like the succulent leaves, the flowers are not much to boast of. Here it is together with Trifolium arvense which I also appreciate although they are both annuals (Are annuals allowed here?)
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!
My first photo of C. drabifolia was so bad I took another one which actually shows the plant, not just the flower. Here it is. Over the 2 plus years I've had it in the garden, I've had as many as 3 blooms open at one time, but right now I've got one open and one coming. Last summer it went dormant, and I was certain it was dead, but after about a month it started showing some growth, came back in September and bloomed again. It's a very nice plant.
It will be some time before most of the thistles are in bloom in my yard. Here's all I got right now... a couple of rosettes of Carduncellus pinnatus that popped up between some semps.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm
Here's a beauty, Cirsium eriophoroides, endemic to SE Tibet.http://www.tibetinfor.com/tibetzt/flower/huahui_en/04/04_17.htm
I grew this from seed as Jurinella (?). The 2nd part of the label is illegible. Anyone have any ideas?
Just noticed this thread. Great information!I have had the farmers attitude when it comes to thistles the key work being "Weed" but that comes from dealing with Bull, Canadian, and Scotch infestations. You have opened my eyes to the many opportunities I have missed out on.I do have a few shots of one of the tamer western North American thistles. Cirsium scariosum aka. Elk thistle. It is found growing in riparian meadows and open forest across the western half of North America. I have only seen this low form along the eastern Sierra foot hills. I know in some forms it sends up spikes of flowers in cream through pink hues.
From the High Desert Steppe
of the Great Basin and the Eastern
Escarpment of the Sierra Nevada Range
Located in Reno/Sparks,NV zone 6-7http://www.flickr.com/photos/sierrarainshadow/
John P Weiser
Here's my favourite of our native thistles, Cirsium hookerianum - Hooker's thistle. It was not yet in bloom up on Forgetmenot Ridge yesterday, but here is a close-up of the buds (along with the biggest shield bug I've ever seen - about 3/8ths of an inch across!)