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Bull Thistle

Cirsium vulgare

Plant Description

A biennial thistle; stems are branching and woolly, covered in spines; leaves are lobed with prickles, and cottony hairs underneath. Flowers are pink to purple w/ spine-tipped bracts, flowering between June-September.

Plant Details

Life Forms
ODA Listing
Soil and Moisture Conditions
Suggested Actions
Shade Preference
Mature Height 2-5'
Distribution widespread
Control Dig up at least the top couple inches of the root before the plant flowers. Cut twice per season to reduce population over time.
Disposal Methods Collect and destroy flowering stems. Do not compost or leave on the ground.
Reproduction and Spread Reproduces by seeds. Contaminated hay spreads new plants. Cut stems can form viable seed.
Introduced introduced from Europe and Asia.
Look Alikes Canada thistle, Italian thistle, native thistles
Impact Colonizes disturbed sites and can form a monoculture of thistles; causes hay fever.
More Info
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