California Gardens - The Year Round Gardening Site

Cirsium occidentale ~ Cobwebby Thistle

Cirsium occidentale is a well mannered thistle in the garden. With red flowers as spectacular as these, one might like for more seeds to germinate, but there will usually only be a few. The hoary silver foliage is strikingly sculptural. The flowers attract many native bees including the two green metalic bees below, butterflies and hummingbirds. Cirsium occidentale is a significant Summer nectar resource for the Cloudless Sulfur, Umber Skipper Butterfly, Painted Lady, White Checkered Skipper, Monarch, Western Tiger Swallowtail, Pale Swallowtail, Northern White Skipper, Mormon Metalmark, Hedgerow Hairstreak, Great Purple Hairstreak, Giant Swallowtail, and Gray Hairstreak Butterflies particularly during the Summer when little else is blooming. Cirsium occidentale grows 3-8 feet tall, usually with just a single stalk but with many flowers appearing over time. The Cobwebby Thistle will come back after winter dormancy if they are planted in a dry enough location to keep from rotting. Cirsium occidentale blooms later in the Spring and well into Summer. The red flowers are Cirsium occidentale occidentale, the pink flowers are Cirsium occidentale californica. Because of the host of pollinators that visit this plant it is a fantastic companion plant to keep your garden pollinated and productive.

Cirsium occidentale, Cobwebby Thistle

Red Flowers and foliage of Cirsium occidentale occidentale the Cobwebby Thistle. High resolution photos are part of our garden image collection.

Clear Winged Moth, Cirsium occidentale, Cobwebby Thistle

A Snowberry Clearwing, Bumblebee Moth sips nectar from a pink Cobwebby Thistle Flower Cirsium occidentale californica. High resolution photos are part of our garden image collection.

A Snowberry Clearwing, Bumblebee MothYoutube. High resolution photos are part of our garden image collection.

Cirsium occidentale californica, Green Metalic Bee

A Green Metalic Bee sips nectar from a pink Cobwebby Thistle Flower Cirsium occidentale californica. High resolution photos are part of our garden image collection.

Cirsium occidentale californica, Green Metalic Bee

A Green Metalic Bee sips nectar from a pink Cobwebby Thistle Flower Cirsium occidentale californica. High resolution photos are part of our garden image collection.