Cirsium pitcheri (Pitcher's Thistle)
Composite family (Asteraceae). Federally threatened species. Photographed in Leelanau Co., Michigan.
The sleeping bear dunes national lake shore has one of the largest remaining populations of this great lakes endemic. It spends 2-8 years maturing as a basal rosette of bluish-green leaves before flowering. This species is monocarpic, meaning it flowers and sets seed once and then dies.
Growing in association with: Ammophila breviligulata; Arctostaphylos uva-ursi; Lathyrus japonica; Artemisia campestris; Monarda punctata; Juniperus horizontalis, J. communis, Prunus pumila var. cuneata; Lithospermum caroliniense; Cornus alba; and Argentina anserina.