This wildflower medley photograph is from one of the trails near Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park during the summer of 2006. Cirsium edule, or edible thistle, is joined in this image by a paintbrush (I think it is Castilleja hispida, or harsh paintbrush), a species of Lupinus and an unknown member of the aster family with white ray-flowers (perhaps Erigeron peregrinus, or wandering daisy).
The epithet edule means “edible”; the Plants for a Future Database briefly describes its use as a food, particularly by First Nations peoples.
The Flora of North America has a detailed scientific account of the western North American Cirsium edule. The USDA’s PLANTS database has a distribution map for Cirsium edule, and I note with some surprise that their maps now show distributions in Canada as well as the USA.