Bull Thistle

Arctium minus

Family Compositae (Asteraceae)

Notable Features
Leaves: Leaves lobed* with deep sinuses*, each lobe containing a sharp, yellow tipped spike.
Flowers: Bright pink flowerheads appear at the top of the plant June through October near the top of the plant.

Size/ Shape: A medium sized, road side, waste land, or pasture plant that grows to 5 feet (1½ meters) in height.

Location on Campus

(click for map)

Located in wooded area behind the Charles River Apartments.

The roots of the first-year plant, before the stems appear, can be collected and eaten raw in salads or cooked as vegetables. Once the spikes have been removed, the leaves and young stems can also be used in salads or as cooked greens.

Except where specifically noted, all text, photographs, and drawings copyright Chris Bersbach and Lisa Leombruni 2002. No part of this page may be reproduced without the express permission of the authors.