Swamp Thistle is a short lived biennial and spreads by seed. It grows best in sandy, moist to wet soil with full sun but will tolerate partial sun. Thistle is high in nectar and supports seven specialist bees. This thistle is not as aggressive as other thistles and can be added to a garden setting and will be neighborly with other plants. Thistles are a favorite of our American Goldfinch. Not only do the finches love the oil rich seed but they also use the hair tufts of the seeds to line their nests.
This plant is a top 30 host plant that supports pollen specialist bees according to the National Wildlife Federation. Also, since most song birds feed their young almost exclusively on caterpillars, adding this plant in your landscape will support birds. Learn more at Keystone Plants by Ecoregion