Venus Thistle is a rather large, tomentose, ( covered with short, soft, matted, white hairs) biennial (sometimes annual) thistle with 1-2" bright red flowers. Very showy. Can grow to six feet tall. Sometimes it will live for one season, sometimes for 2-3.
It will generally die after it produces a full flower show. Prefers gravelly sand to loam. Rainfall 10-20 inches/year in winter. Hummingbirds and adult swallowtail butterflies are attracted to the flowers. Synonym: Cirsium proteanum .
Cirsium occidentale var. venustum tolerates sand and deer.
Cirsium occidentale var. venustum is great for a bird garden and a butterfly garden.
Foliage of Cirsium occidentale var. venustum has color silver and is deciduous.
Flower of Cirsium occidentale var. venustum has color red.
Communities for Cirsium occidentale var. venustum:Chaparral, Coastal Sage Scrub, Joshua Tree Woodland, Mixed-evergreen Forest and Central Oak Woodland.