Field Thistle
Cirsium discolor

f3 @ 1/4000s, ISO:1000, Nikon D3S w 60mm macro

"Cirsium discolor," Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Cirsium discolor, the field thistle, is a North American species of plants in the thistle tribe, within the sunflower family. It is native to thirty-three states in the United States as well four Canadian provinces. It occurs across much of eastern and central Canada as well as eastern and central United States. It has been found from New Brunswick west to Saskatchewan and south as far as Texas and Georgia. Field thistle is a biennial or perennial herb up to 200 cm (78.5 in) tall, producing a large taproot. There is usually only one stem with numerous spiny leaves that are green on the upper side but white and woolly underneath. The plant's flower heads are large and showy and have the pale to medium value purplish magenta coloration (lilac, lavender, pinkish purple, purplish pink) that is especially attractive to butterflies. The same color can be seen in the flowers of the genus Liatris, among many others. Heads have many disc florets but no ray florets. The species grows primarily in damp areas in forest openings, prairies, and disturbed sites.
Francis A. Crane Wildlife Management Area, East Falmouth, Massachusetts