Sep. 19, 2018

Tracy's thistle, Cirsium undulatum tracyi

Thistles are a nice example of an aster family plant that has only symmetric flowers. These are analogous to the flowers that appear in the center of a daisy or sunflower. Just behind the lower insect you can clearly see the individual flowers, each with five lobes. Each flower produces one seed. In this instance, each seed will have some of that wonderful thistle fluff attached, preparing to carry the next generation away from home. Tracy's thistle is segregated into its own species, Cirsium tracyi, by some botanists. It grows in the lower mountains of CO, NM and UT. Gunnison Co CO, 6/20/13.