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Native Swamp Thistle
Cirsium muticum

a.k.a. Swamp Thistle

Commonly found in wetland habitats, the biennial Swamp Thistle does best in partial to full sun and in wet soils. It has a tap root and thus does not spread aggressively.

USDA symbol: CIMU

General Information

Plant TypeForb
Height4 to 8 feet
Light ExposurePart Sun, Sun
Soil MoistureMedium, Wet
Bloom ColorPink, Purple
Native Swamp Thistle (Native Swamp Thistle<div><em class="small">Cirsium muticum</em></div>)
Photo credit: Minnesota Wildflowers (Click to enlarge)


Flooding / Inundation ToleranceModerate
General Resilience5
Salt ToleranceMedium
Stress ToleranceGeneral Disturbance

Pollinator Value: Very High

Bloom MonthsJuly to October
Larval Host ofBees, Moths
Specific Pollinators HostedMelissodes desponsus, Melissodes rivalis, Tricholita signata
Pollinator BenefitInsect Pollinated, Provides Nectar, Stem Nesting, Supports Generalists

Project Planning

Project TypeRain Garden
Coefficient of Conservatism7
Herbivore SensitivityLow
Rate of SpreadFast
Soil StabilizationDeep
Vegetative ReproductionAbsent


CountyAitkin, Anoka, Becker, Beltrami, Benton, Blue Earth, Carlton, Carver, Chisago, Clay, Clearwater, Cook, Cottonwood, Crow Wing, Dakota, Dodge, Douglas, Fillmore, Goodhue, Grant, Hennepin, Hubbard, Isanti, Itasca, Kandiyohi, Kittson, Koochiching, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Le Sueur, Mahnomen, Marshall, McLeod, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Nicollet, Norman, Olmsted, Otter Tail, Pennington, Pine, Polk, Pope, Ramsey, Red Lake, Rice, Roseau, Sherburne, St. Louis, Stearns, Todd, Wadena, Washington, Wright
EcoregionDriftless Area, Lake Agassiz Plain, North Central Hardwood Forests, Northern Glaciated Plains, Northern Lakes and Forests, Northern Minnesota Wetlands, Western Cornbelt Plains
Approximate Eco ProvinceEastern Broadleaf Forest, Laurentian Mixed Forest, Prairie Parkland, Tallgrass Aspen Parklands