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Cirsium grahamii

Family: Asteraceae

Description: "The nearly muticous involucred, the deep purple flowers, and the leaves bare and green above, principally distinguish this from some forms of C. undulatum, which moreover grows in high and dry ground (Gray 1853)." Flowers deep purple (Kearney & Peebles 1951). Phyllary edges have double rows of serratations, the anther tips are long attenuate (observed from isotype). "The scabrous-ciliolate edges of the principle involucral bracts give a good diagnostic character (Gray 1883)."

Distribution: "White Mts, Huachuca Mts., 6,500-7,500 ft. openings in pine forest; similar specimens have been collected near Flagstaff; in the Pinaleno Mts, and in the Santa Catalina Mts. (Kearney & Peebles 1951)."

Plants Seen or Cited: TYPE LOCALITY: Low grounds, in valleys between the Sonoita and the San Pedro, Sonora (Sept. 1296);[ISOTYPE] USNH Wright 1296, 1851, New Mexico (!) ;Gray cites Wright, Thurber, Lemmon as typical (Gray 1867).

NMSU Spellenburg & Jewell 941, 16 Sept 1987, Chihuahua MX, Guerrero; NMSU, Townsend & Barber 234, 7 Aug 1899; NMSU 28737, 9 Sept 1903, Socorro Co., Mogollon Mts. near W. fork Gila River; NMSU 28750, 5 Aug 1900, Socorro Co., Mogollon Mts.; UTEP 30708, 5 Jul 1983, AZ, Chiricahua Mts., Piney Canyon.

Discussion: This taxon seems to be involved in the complex containing C. wheeler, C. blumeri, C. perennans, etc. I studied the thistles on the chain of mountain tops from the Magdalena Mts. through the San Mateos and the Black Range. I originally thought that the thistle at Langmuir Laboratory was a new taxon (which I wanted to call C. fulguritum), but looking across this range, I realized that they all appeared to have a relationship with C. blumeri. Gerald Ownbey annotated the syntype of C. blumeri as C. wrightii. Kearney and Peebles include the type for C. blumeri (Blumer 1910, Spud Ranch in Rincon Mts.) in discussion of C. grahamii. Clearly there is much confusion about these epithets and underlying taxa. This group of taxa needs attention. It might turn out that C. grahamii is actually a lowland taxon quite distinct from the rest, but I don't know. There are taxonomic problems with the delimitation of C. grahamii. Related taxa are not rare.

Important Literature:

Gray, A. 1853. Pl. Wright. 2:102. [Original description]

Gray, A. 1867.

Gray, A. 1883. Proc. Amer. Acad. 19:57.

Kearney & Peebles, 1951.

Martin & Hutchins, 1981.

Information Compiled By: Patricia Barlow-Irick, 1998

Photo credits in header Peniocereus greggii var. greggii © T. Todsen,
Lepidospartum burgessii © M. Howard, Argemone pleiacantha ssp. pinnatisecta © R. Sivinski
Design: J. Mygatt; Copyright © 1999-2005 New Mexico Rare Plant Technical Council