Chicago Ecological Services Field Office

Midwest Region


Chicago Field Office

230 South Dearborn St.,

Suite 2938

Chicago, Illinois 60604
Phone: 312-216-4720

FAX: 312-216-1788
TTY: 1-800-877-8339
(Federal Relay)


Connect With Us


Facebook icon

Flickr icon


Twitter icon

YouTube icon




Links to Whooping Crane Sighting Report Form

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative logo

Pitcher's Thistle (Cirsium pitcheri)


Image: Pitcher's thistle "Species Spotlight"

Listed as threatened in 1988.




  • Final rule listing the species (.pdf format), published in The Federal Register (53 FR 27137-27141), July 18, 1988.



  • Article on Chicago-area restoration efforts from The Endangered Species Bulletin, July-August 2002.


This pink-flowered thistle is specialized for life in sand dunes around the shores of the western Great Lakes. Habitat modification and fragmentation caused local populations to decline, and it was listed as Threatened in 1988.


Historical Records for this Species in Northeast Illinois are available from Lake County, Illinois.


Historically, this species' range also included lakeshore dune and swale communities in the Chicago region. While much of this kind of habitat has been replaced by an urbanized landscape, some high-quality dune and swale remnants, and suitable habitat for Pitcher's thistle still occur along the Lake Michigan shoreline of Lake County, Illinois.


In the Chicago region, we work with land managers and others who have an interest in this species. We have funded a multi-partner experimental re-introduction project and studies of population ecology in Lake County, Illinois. Participants included staff from the Morton Arboretum, Chicago State University, and the Chicago Botanic Garden.



Chicago Endangered Species Home

Chicago Field Office Home


Last updated: February 22, 2018