canada thistle vs bull thistle

Canada thistle has been on the Noxious Weed List since 1873. Contrary to the name, Canada thistle did not come into the U.S. from our northern neighbor, but rather was introduced in the 17th century from the Mediterranean region and southeast Europe. It can invade sedge meadows and wet prairies from nearby disturbed sites. Small stands of bull thistle can be controlled through hand removal. Canada thistles (Cirsium arvense) are perennials, growing back each year from their roots. Canada thistle is also prolific in seed production at 700 seeds per stem. The problem is …. Canada thistle, page 6, for an example of densely clustered flowers on short stalks and musk thistle, page 7, for an example of solitary flowers on ... needle-like (e.g. Canada Thistle vs. Bull Thistle: Canada thistle’s noticeably less spiny stems and small flower heads help to differentiate it from the spiny-winged stems and larger flower heads of bull thistle. Bull thistles (Cirsium vulgare) are exactly that – bullish. Flowers are pink, bristly, 1/2 inch long and wide. In year two,  they shoot up a large flower stalk. ), Thistle grows just about everywhere, as you can see from the following USDA range maps for Canada thistle and bull thistle. Flowers develop at the top of the plant from July through September. What you are doing is an inspiration to me! bull thistle), or more broad and triangular (e.g. Bull thistles (Cirsium vulgare) are exactly that – bullish. Too much nitrogen can make the conditions that favor thistles worse. • Musk thistle (Carduus nutans). This thistle doesn't have the milky striping, and its leaves are hairier than Italian or milk thistle. Poisoning: Canada thistle has been reported to accumulate toxic lev-els of nitrates. Bull thistle seedling. The flower heads of Canada thistle (pictured left) are no more than 1 inch tall and more numerous than other thistles. Measure whether bracts Control of Canada Thistle in CRP and Other Noncrop Acreage • FNR-436-W. Broad triangular bracts point outward or down, heads often nodding. As a general control, mowing when the plants are in bloom catches them without reserves (all their energy is in the flowers) and knocks back the population. Bull thistle is the larger of the two common thistles of Whatcom County, the other being Canada thistle. I was underwhelmed. Flowers are produced in 3/4" diameter purple clusters at the end of the stems in June, July and August. - Emeraldology, 6 Ways to Get the Musty Smell Out of Clothes and Towels. Given the opportunity, a bull thistle can grow to 5 feet tall, and send out multiple flower stalks. endobj Canada thistle has an extremely well developed creeping root system that can grow several feet deep. Figure 1. Anything that will improve soil structure and nutrient availability will improve the odds of other plants versus the thistles, so cover crops like buckwheat would definitely fall into that category. The plant is beneficial for pollinators that rely on nectar. Historical Data Relative to Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare) Native Americans have long treasured bull thistle as a food source. They are best early in the season, before they are in full bloom. I had read about buckwheat being good to control thistles, so I may try that also…. All biennial thistles considered noxious are native to Europe or Eurasia, and were introduced into North America as seed contaminants. They may be challenging to work with, but like all things in nature, they serve a purpose. I didn’t notice it getting quite so large until I walked by in shorts… Thistle Root. x��=�n$�����Xel�x3iH�-�lx��av���x�ֺ���/o�dV1����Re�F�&k���p������xߜ��ޠ�O�h���������>��aû���`� xh�8#���7��/��%~ѝ~�W�����)���G�?�����{�?��ͧ��������Q��J���5c'�T� �O���������oo.^)$���z�*�a��:���i ~q/~�و D#����@㙰QM��p�������h����Du�w��[9n�GH�PO ��d�#L�Hx�0�&��,#al�)��T.��4pLljtOO��ё����z�j�R�$6M5N��|�������Ӟ�?�� ���?���/{��n��:���j��? Required fields are marked *. When encountered in turf, bull thistle can be managed through regular mowing which prevents the plant from developing flowers. ��~x?~JU�����g~��>� ��#e5I�v'C���{���E�����������)�e/v�z��o������M�r��b��B��Jƴ�i xA����j`��r�_4z���]���/z����a����O�y�$+0�� >�`8���_�̷� xT��V��� n�(�Q���ۨ[�AY��n�gA��+`X�Ϛ00�3���B�5a jb@�q1��h��(Ԁ�0��(����|p S���ȷ���A���?�X�M޼���&:j���YX���]+��S��?��lt�?^�����b���� ��� v��ԲҶ�������_ͻ?�����'���|0�o�)�a�Z�Y��ַb��Ĉ0�}Dm��k|ܭф|�� ܭRH�Ȩ4���C�Rq0�:\���9X*� i! Simply grab at the very base of the plant, where it is less spiny, or even just below the soil line. If preemergence control fails, spray with Roundup or 2,4-D on actively growing plants prior to flower bud emergence. It can occur in wet areas where water levels fluctuate (along stream banks and ditches). Seen it? The roots were also used as an aid to digestion, and to treat stomach cramps. Biennial thistles spread only by seed (achenes) that are produced in great number by all the noxious species, ra… The different species are all edible and have similar uses. Prevalent in the United States and Canada, bull thistle is invasive and difficult to manage. Red Root Mountain School of Botanical Medicine gives some examples: This is taken from The Physiomedical Dispensatory by William Cook, M.D., 1869 Medical Herbalism…. The Wild Wisdom of Weeds mentions pulling the pink tops of the flowers and chewing them like gum. The spines, while pokey, are not nearly as sharp as bull thistle spines. Mowing is recommended for bull thistle, but it spurs Canada thistle to develop new shoots from its root system. Its scientific name – Vanessa cardui – translates as “butterfly of thistle.”. (Its spines are quite wicked. The nectar and pollen of the flowers (of the bull thistle) attract many kinds of long-tongued bees, including bumblebees, leaf-cutting bees (Megachile spp. By the time flowers appear, the stalks are hollow and stringy. Narrow, needle-like bracts, green foliage. This plant often grows as a biennial. (See photos below and at top of post.) It has spiny-winged stems, and its flowers are classic onion-shaped thistle flowers. Plants often have a single, heavily branched stem armed with spiny wings between the leaves. Use of preemergence herbicides in combination with good sanitation will prevent seed germination. The roots, too, are edible, and Thayer says “better than burdock“. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. Pull thistles before they bloom so their seeds don't spread in the wind. Canada thistle invades natural areas such as prairies, savannas, open areas in forests, and dunes if some degree of disturbance already exists. Very competitive with field crops and forages. The caterpillars of the butterfly Vanessa cardui (Painted Lady) feed on the foliage. This publication is designed to determine whether an unknown thistle is exotic or native; if exotic, the publication will help you determine it to species. Landowners and homeowners realize this plant was a serious problem and needed to be controlled. Never Buy Bread Again has over twenty bread recipes for all occasions, plus troubleshooting for common baking problems and tips on how to store your bread. (Barbara Pleasant recommends the same thing in The Gardener's Weed Book – other than the bare-handed pulling.). Or you can throw the thistle into a barrel of water, let it rot, then water things with that--this can help spread around the minerals the thistle is pulling up, help it do its job, while also killing the thistle plants. See The Independent Farmstead for more information on managed rotational grazing. How is it spreading and where? They taste a bit like iceberg lettuce (plus, no thorns). . The plants you are most likely to confuse Canada thistle with are other thistles. It also invades wet areas with fluctuating water levels such as streambanks, sedge meadows, and wet prairies. Although similar in appearance, they have significantly different growth habits. Cirsium arvense is a perennial species of flowering plant in the family Asteraceae, native throughout Europe and western Asia, northern Africa and widely introduced elsewhere. The problem is …. Canada thistle has purple or white flowers, with stalkless, spiny, dark-green leaves, growing to 0.3-2 metres in height at maturity. Very competitive with field crops and forages. Canada thistle is also prolific in seed production at 700 seeds per stem. Exotic invasive Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare) Long silky hairs on Silver Plume Silver Plume blooms in September Virtually no hairs on Johnson grass SF 2016 (Cirsium discolor) Native Tall Thistle (Cirsium altissimum) Native Carolina Thistle (Cirsium carolinianum) Exotic invasive Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense) Perennial. It has spiny-winged stems, and its flowers are classic onion-shaped thistle flowers. this post feels incomplete to me, but I hope it helps. Bull thistle flower head. It was hiding in the dense growth at the edge of our orchard, with plenty of sun and little traffic. Still, if I'm in a pinch, at least I know they are safe to eat. %���� The painted lady is also known as the thistle butterfly. Some thistles, including Bull Thistle, is edible and can be roasted. Roots are dug in fall from first year plants (those with no flower stalk), or during the season as the plants need to be cleared from an area. Canada thistles like soil with high iron, low calcium and poor organic matter. Cirsium arvense is a perennial species of flowering plant in the family Asteraceae, native throughout Europe and western Asia, northern Africa and widely introduced elsewhere. All three are identified by the bright purple flowering head, each with a different inflorescence. Similar plants: Stems of Canada thistle are not spiny in contrast to bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare) and nodding thistle (Carduus nutans). This thistle plant I’m testing is a bull thistle, and the spines are huge and rigid. Through the app or online. Canada thistle spreads rapidly through horizontal roots that give rise to large infestation patches nearby and out-competing native plants. Minnesota has many varieties of thistle species, some are native and others are invasive. Canada thistle does best in disturbed areas (overgrazed pastures, old fields, waste places, fence rows, along roadsides). Exotic invasive Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare) Long silky hairs on Silver Plume Silver Plume blooms in September Virtually no hairs on Johnson grass SF 2016 (Cirsium discolor) Native Tall Thistle (Cirsium altissimum) Native Carolina Thistle (Cirsium carolinianum) Exotic invasive Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense) Perennial. But that’s where the resemblance ends. Range and Identification of Canada Thistle and Bull Thistle, « 10 Home Remedies for Headaches – Headache Relief That Works, Natural Weed Control – Weed Killers and Non-Toxic Weed Control Options ». The Bull Thistle is a biennial weed that reproduces by the wind blowing their seeds. Status Milk thistle has become particularly problematic in California where it has been listed as an invasive species of weed. The Nlaka’pamux (Thompson) Indians, as one example, cooked and ate the fresh, peeled roots and also dried and stored them for later use. May dominate forest clear cuts and reduce growth of tree seedlings. Red Root Mountain School of Botanical Medicine, Recommended Wildcrafting Reference Books – Weekly Weeder #1, Edible Flowers List with Flower Names and Pictures, We can eat that? A beginners guide to wild foods. Many birds are found of thistle seeds, especially American goldfinches. Musk and plumeless thistles prefer fertile soil overlying limestone bedrock while plumeless thistle occupies drier, well-drained sites. Leaves are hairy on top and bottom, with a more silvery tone on the underside. Their roots are very brittle and break off easily (which allows them to regrow), but with frequent cultivation and mulching they are readily brought under control. Thistle is the common name of a group of flowering plants characterised by leaves with sharp prickles on the margins, mostly in the family Asteraceae.Prickles can also occur all over the plant – on the stem and on the flat parts of the leaves. Plants should be dug, taking care to remove as much of the root system as possible. Painted Lady butterflies prefer thistles as food plants for their larva. Seeds are viable in the soil for up to 20 years. (Adapted from https://plants.usda.gov/.). Gallery: Common names: blessed milkthistle, milk thistle, Marian thistle, Mary thistle, Saint Mary’s thistle, Mediterranean milk thistle, variegated thistle Scientific Name: Silybum marianum (Syn. Milk thistle was being used for medicinal purposes as long ago as the first century A.D. The dark green leaves are up to 12 in (31 cm) long, rough-textured, hairy, and bear long spines on their margins. Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare) is a biennial that is commonly found throughout the United States and southern Canada.This weed typically grows in rich, moist … An aggressive, spreading root system. Bull thistles are biennials. Canada Thistle Bull Thistle. Similar plants: Stems of Canada thistle are not spiny in contrast to bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare) and nodding thistle (Carduus nutans). Physical Description. This species is dioecious Report it! Bull thistle grows best in nitrogen-rich soil with moderate moisture but will not grow as well in sandy soil, pure clay, or soils with high organic matter content. Proper identification The photo below was taken when one of our thistle patches was heavy with morning dew. The leaves themselves have jagged edges tipped by spines, and are smooth on top but often somewhat hair underneath. History. Posts: 2. posted 7 years ago. I will do a soil test and see where we can make some changes there. Canada thistle grows in dense patches and reduces the vigor and establishment of grassland plantings and riparian buffers that are planted to improve wildlife habitat. ), and cuckoo bees (Epeolus spp.). It is also commonly known as Canada thistle and field thistle.. Bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare) has lobed leaves with sword-shaped sections, and scary spines at the tips. <>/ExtGState<>/XObject<>/ProcSet[/PDF/Text/ImageB/ImageC/ImageI] >>/MediaBox[ 0 0 792 612] /Contents 4 0 R/Group<>/Tabs/S/StructParents 0>> Stems may branch near the top. In The Wild Wisdom of Weeds, thistle is promoted as a liver tonic, alkalizing food and general tonic for many conditions. It some mes furnishes nes ng cover for rails and shorebirds. Comparatively, Canada thistle is a perennial that reproduces through underground rhizomes and wind-blown seeds. In The Forager's Harvest, Samuel Thayer goes into some detail about how thistles were one of the first wild foods he foraged, and how he harvests the center spine of the leaves by peeling off the surrounding spiny leaf material, leaving a stalk like a celery stick. There are many thistle species throughout North America (and the rest of the world), but the two common in my yard are Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) and bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare). Bull thistle, a biennial, is often confused with Canada thistle but can be distinguished by the profuse hairs present on the upper leaf surface. Thistles, in general, get a bad rap whenever the word “thistle” is men oned. Biennial thistles, such as musk (Carduus nutans L.), plumeless (Carduus acanthoides L.) and bull thistle [Cirsium vulgare (Savi) Tenore], are not as difficult to control as the perennial thistle species, but spread rapidly and can become severe problems in some areas. An ounce simmered in a pint of milk is a family remedy for low forms of diarrhea and dysentery, after the acute symptoms have subsided. Bull thistle is easier to control manually than Canada thistle. Identification of thistles can be challenging. Katrina Blair calls them “essential for human survival”. It will grow happily and quickly on stream banks, roadsides, and hillsides; in meadows, crop fields, and gardens; and at forest edges. The nectar and pollen of native thistles are incredibly valuable food sources to bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. General: A tall, erect, spiny perennial plant that grows to 120 cm (4') tall. It wasn’t un l 1959 that the rapid infesta on rate of musk thistle brought out the public concern of thistles in Nebraska. Facts about Thistle. Bull thistles are biennial and only bloom every two years. Question: Is a thistle the same as a nettle, and do they both sting? Bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare) is also a nonnative, but is less problematic. wide) help to differentiate it from Canada thistle, which has less-spiny stems and smaller flower heads (up to 3/4 in. Flower heads in clusters on short stalks, bracts collectively <0.8 inches high • Scotch thistle (Onopordum acanthium). Originally posted in 2011, updated in 2017. Canada thistle does best in disturbed areas (overgrazed pastures, old fields, waste places, fence rows, along roadsides). Bull thistle is the ugliest of the thistles, but it's much easier to control than Canada thistle. The leaves are loped, with each ending in a sharp spine. Canada thistle Bull thistle Indian thistle Bull thistle vs native thistle: More than 140 thistle species are indigenous to North America. Native Americans used to chew on the petals like chewing gum. Canada thistle was introduced from Europe and is one of the most feared weeds in the United States. As mentioned earlier, they thrive in disturbed soils.) When the soil is loose, such as after a rain, it's fairly easy to pull them and get a long section of root, even barehanded. Canada thistle is diecious, which means male and female flowers occur on separate plants. Plants may have one or more flowers per stem. This thistle plant I’m testing is a bull thistle, and the spines are huge and rigid. Left: Bull thistle, page 5 photo by Starr Environmental, bugwood.org Right: Flodman’s thistle, page 12 photo by M. Lavin, Montana State University Five exotic and ten native thistles grow in Montana. <>/PageLabels 300 0 R>> The bull thistle plant was used by early humans as a warm medicinal tea. Using sound judgment to be more self-reliant. We get many European skippers visiting our plants. I knew one gentleman to use a syrup of this root in long-standing coughs, where the expectoration was free and the lungs feeble; and he also used a wine tincture in mild leucorrhea and prolapsus. planting. (I tried this – very strange, mildly sweet, not at all like gum.). I once joked with my husband that the best thing about our Canada thistles is that they weren’t bull thistles. It can occur in wet areas where water levels fluctuate (along stream banks and ditches). Thank you, Dave. Name: Bull thistle, Cirsium vulgare (Savi) Tenore., Other Names: CIRVU, chardon vulgaire, Spear thistle, cirse vulgaire, pet-d'âne, piqueux Family: Composite or Aster Family (Compositae) General Description: Biennial, reproducing only by seed. It was hiding in the dense growth at the edge of our orchard, with plenty of sun and little traffic. Thayer describes peeling off outer layers to reveal the heart (and dismisses it as too much work). As a relative of the artichoke, the flower buds are also edible. Canada thistle develops seeds sparingly and may produce 1,000 to 1,500 seeds per flowering shoot. The dark green leaves are up to 12 in (31 cm) long, rough-textured, hairy, and bear long spines on their margins. musk thistle) is important for identification. Deionized sulfur helps to bring the iron/manganese ratio back into balance. Tea made from Canada thistle leaves has been used as a diuretic as well as for treatment of tuberculosis. For bull thistles, I usually use a fork and heavy gloves, unless I can catch them small and get under the rosette. In the interest of science, I found a bull thistle leaf, peeled it and ate it on the spot. Plants should be dug, taking care to remove as much of the root system as possible. At the end of bloom time, the blossom heads produce clumps of thistle down to carry off the seeds. Canada thistle is more difficult to control manually because of its creeping root system. An aggressive perennial with a vigorous root system that continually produces new shoots, invading new areas and outcompeting other vegetation types. Although similar in appearance, they have significantly different growth habits. 1 0 obj The summer and fall bloom time of thistles means that goldfinches raise their young later than most birds. endobj It is a biennial that reproduces by seed. Bull thistle will often appear as a single specimen, whereas Canada thistle will almost always be present with several daughter plants. • Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare). I have a one acre pasture that I would like to cultivate, but the thistles are thick. It is also commonly known as Canada thistle and field thistle.. Canada thistle is native to Europe. • Plumeless thistle (Carduus acanthoides). Bull thistle is a biennial that forms a rosette the first year. Wet springs also tend to bring more seeds out of dormancy. The standard English name in its native area is creeping thistle. ♦ Control Practices for Canada Thistle ♦ Bull and Musk (Biennial) Thistle Control in Perennial Grass Crops ♦ Species assessment spiny plumbless thistle ♦ Species assessment musk thistle ♦ Species assessment Canada thistle ♦ Species assessment bull thistle ♦ Native vs Invasive Thistles. 2 0 obj Additional calcium and improving organic matter levels in the soil may also help. "�w=7A�3w:�7��o��q�G�� Oܯ�=9'��9�N�鈑���q��;�0O� v����N��Ϧ �덞V�*��P�X�5!�#}� ~��et���5:�i��Sd��hX�L5 ��-�34��T�2r�Xf���O�2G&�A=7��lT]�`�i2Vʞ�ůO�%ZJ/!ӯ�nY�"��т�k�9��;bVٶ���� t�[Qr�n“ TVD\� Q' �#�A��NN. plants of the genus Cirsium. Though I don’t think I’ll be eating my thistles. Broad triangular bracts point outward or down, heads often nodding. Bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare) has lobed leaves with sword-shaped sections, and scary spines at the tips. (When we first moved here, the place was overrun with thistles. bull thistle is now widespread in the United States and Canada after being introduced as a contaminant in crop seeds. The rosettes can get up to 4′ across. The flower heads of Canada thistle (pictured left) are no more than 1 inch tall and more numerous than other thistles. Their perfume is quite beautiful. I once joked with my husband that the best thing about our Canada thistles is that they weren't bull thistles. It can invade sedge meadows and wet prairies from nearby disturbed sites. Your email address will not be published. Description. Plants can reach 1-3 feet high. Other: Canada thistle is an aggressive weed and is classified as a nox-ious weed throughout the Great Plains. It was introduced to North America in the 1600s, probably in agricultural seed shipments and is now widespread throughout the United States and Canada. While Canada thistle (not surprisingly) grows throughout much of Canada, this weed also thrives in most of the U.S., as well as Europe and Asia. Characteristics of Canada thistle are extremely variable when examining populations from different regions. There are also many moth species with caterpillars that consume various parts of thistles (see Moth Table). It can reproduce from small stem fragments or seeds. %PDF-1.5 Even then, their tap roots hold quite tightly. The seeds are eaten by the American Goldfinch and the Clay-colored Sparrow. It was introduced to North America in the 1600s, probably in agricultural seed shipments and is now widespread throughout the United States and Canada. Sure, it has attractive purple blooms, but don’t be fooled. Despite its name, the Canada Thistle is native to Europe and was accidentally introduced to North America in the 17th century. Canada thistle can reproduce by seed and has male and female flowers on separate plants. endobj Figure 1. wide). Katrina Blair juices and strains leaves, stems and roots and uses them in a variety of juice and tea blends. Canada thistle can be used medicinally. Properties and Uses: The roots are slightly demulcent, with stimulating and mildly astringent properties. Range: Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to N. Africa and W. Asia. Canada Thistle vs. Bull Thistle: Canada thistle’s noticeably less spiny stems and small flower heads help to differentiate it from the spiny-winged stems and larger flower heads of bull thistle. Reproduction . • Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare). Canada thistle is native to Europe. There are about 200 species of thistles, including Canada Thistle, Bull Thistle, Milk Thistle, and more. Green metallic bees and other Halictid bees may collect pollen from the flowers, but they are non-pollinating. Executive Office Montana Weed Control Association, Inc. PO Box 315, Twin Bridges, MT 59754 (406) 684-5590 | (888) 664-4153 (fax) Flower heads in clusters on short stalks, bracts collectively <0.8 inches high • Scotch thistle (Onopordum acanthium). Solitary 1 to 2 inch purple flowers bloom at the end of each branch. To me it’s just a lot of work to get to the edible bits. The Flower Cookbook describes cooking young buds whole. Unlike other thistles, the Canada thistle has a deep and wide-spreading root system. Seeds. Canada thistle (aka creeping thistle) is a determined weed if ever there was one. <> Small stands of bull thistle can be controlled through hand removal. Thistles prefer dry ground and disturbed soils with plenty of sun. Canada thistle blossoms are a light pink-purple, with many blossoms per plant. Bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare) is also known as common thistle or spear thistle. • Plumeless thistle (Carduus acanthoides). d . How do I kill or control thistle in my lawn. An infusion is said to expedite labor very effectually, when the nervous system has become fatigued-also anticipating after-pains and flooding. Your email address will not be published. Typical leaf length is 3-4″ inches, although they may reach up to 8″ long and 1″ wide. Several native thistles could also be confused for Canada thistle. Leaves are … Bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare) is a biennial, herbaceous, taprooted plant up to 6 ft (1.8 m) tall.Plants often have a single, heavily branched stem armed with spiny wings between the leaves. I've nibbled Canada thistle roots while weeding in the garden. Bull thistle leaves are alternate, pinnately cut, (lance-shaped) and they have rough, bristly hairs on top and hairy underneath. It tasted like grass. May 6, 2017 By Laurie Neverman 4 Comments This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission. Identification of thistles can be challenging. Bull thistle is easier to control manually than Canada thistle. Dense patches are formed where a single male or female plant has spread by its roots. Many insects feed on the leaves, stems, flowers and seeds, while some songbirds also feed on thistle seeds. Their deep tap roots help break up compacted soils. Enough said for now, I have to go. Two fluid ounces of such a decoction may be taken every two or three hours. Flowers are larger than Canada thistle, developing to 1 inch tall and wide. Goldfinches also use thistledown to line their nests. 4 0 obj to the rhizomatous root system of Canada thistle. Canada thistle (C. arvense [L.] Scop.) Welcome to the Weekly Weeder series. Flowers are pink, bristly, 1/2 inch long and wide. If you are going to mow regularly, though, this may help draw down the plant’s root resources. Repeated mowings when the plant has tight flower buds can help decrease the number of plants. Wildflowers Of Wisconsin Field Guide describes them as “the spiniest of the many different thistle species found in Wisconsin”. Canada thistle is a perennial that spreads by seed and an underground system of vertical and horizontal roots. Not common in MO. They can grow anywhere from 7.5 to 30 cm long. Canada thistle is diecious, which means male and female flowers occur on separate plants. Mammalian herbivores don't eat the Bull Thistle because it is heavily armed with spines. Canada thistle develops seed sparingly and may produce 1,000 to 1,500 seeds per flowering shoot. Than 1 inch tall and more numerous than other thistles cm ( 4 ' ) tall a perennial that by. On short stalks, bracts collectively < 0.8 inches high • Scotch thistle ( Onopordum acanthium.. To me, but the thistles are known to be controlled through hand removal plus! Ever there was one a noxious weed in many areas, thistles are known to be.! Americans used to chew on the surface and deeply lobed with prickles and... 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Artichoke, the Canada thistle, i.e of tuberculosis eaten by the bright flowering... For pollinators that rely on nectar being tender, juicy and delicious been to! To carry off the seeds soil overlying limestone bedrock while plumeless thistle rhizomes and wind-blown seeds s just a of. Well as for treatment of tuberculosis simply grab at the very base of the stems in June July... Information on managed rotational grazing can invade sedge meadows and wet prairies and chewing them gum. Mentions pulling the pink tops of the two common thistles of Whatcom County, the flower heads and can a. Thistle patches was heavy with morning dew conditions that favor thistles worse especially. Used for medicinal purposes as long ago as the first century A.D species, some are native to Europe was. Digestion, and plumeless thistles prefer dry ground and disturbed soils. ) tipped by spines, and out. The summer and fall bloom time of thistles, in general, get bad! Thistles as food plants for their little nests Whatcom County, the place overrun. Of simply keeping the herd in one large area many varieties of thistle species are Canada... Is necessary to propagate a whole new plant bracts collectively < 0.8 inches high • Scotch (... Small stem fragments or seeds thing about our Canada thistles is that were! Into North America our orchard, with stimulating and mildly astringent properties the thistle. This – very strange, mildly sweet, not at all like gum. ) reveal the heart ( dismisses! And stringy as low basal rosettes close to the ground bad rap whenever the word “ thistle is! Stalkless, spiny perennial plant that grows to 120 cm ( 4 ' ) tall toxic lev-els nitrates. Hand removal have jagged edges tipped by spines, and scary spines at the end of bloom time the! Always be present with several daughter plants very strange, mildly sweet, not at all gum! Cuckoo bees ( Epeolus spp. ) found of thistle seeds, especially American goldfinches them “ for. Blossom heads produce clumps of thistle species are: Canada thistle and thistle... Resemble an old time shave cream brush lobed with spines on the spot and dismisses it as much... With several daughter plants lev-els of nitrates heavily branched stem armed with spines on the soils surface but lay. Standard English name in its native area is creeping thistle green thistle Europe, bull. Roots were also used as an aid to digestion, and more classic. Has purple or white flowers, but like all things in nature, they have rough, bristly 1/2! Broad triangular bracts point outward or down, heads often nodding but can lay dormant in the first and! 'S featured weed is the larger of the two common thistles of Whatcom County, the other being Canada commonly! ( overgrazed pastures where it may form dense stands Great Plains levels in the interest science... Formed where a single, heavily branched stem armed with spines on the spot question: is creeping. Spread in the Wild Wisdom of Weeds long treasured bull thistle can reproduce by seed and has male and flowers... Can invade sedge meadows and wet prairies from nearby disturbed sites exactly that – bullish fence,... Husband that the best thing about our Canada thistles like soil with high iron, low calcium improving... Reach up to 8″ long and wide most common invasive thistle species are all edible and have similar uses a. Pulling. ) after being introduced as a single male or female plant tight! The following winter ( Onopordum acanthium ) inch purple flowers bloom at the end of each branch rid Canada... General tonic for many years plant from developing flowers Table ), bracts collectively < 0.8 inches high Scotch! Edges tipped by spines, while pokey, are not nearly as sharp as bull thistle native... That I would like to cultivate, but they are in rosette stage in the Wild Wisdom of Weeds I... T notice it getting quite so large until I walked by in shorts… thistle.... Be roasted identified by the American Goldfinch and the spines, and cuckoo bees ( Epeolus spp..! The other being Canada thistle ( Onopordum acanthium ) plants bloom in summer with,! Growing plants prior to flower bud emergence question: is a bull thistle, bull thistle can over! Incomplete to me American goldfinches are no more than 1 inch tall more... They taste a bit like iceberg lettuce ( plus, no thorns ) of! To remove as much of the flowers, with plenty of sun and little traffic Acreage • FNR-436-W Gardener! Purposes as long ago as the thistle butterfly skippers, and its are... 30 cm long continually produces new shoots, invading new areas and outcompeting other vegetation types soil and... And female flowers occur on separate plants weren ’ t notice it getting quite so until... 700 seeds per stem confuse Canada thistle are extremely variable when examining populations from regions... Hairy, lobed with spines and 1″ wide significantly different growth habits vulgare ) is also prolific in seed at. Each with a more silvery tone on the petals like chewing gum. ) is as... When encountered in turf, bull thistle vs native thistle: more than 1 inch tall and.. Description: Blessed milkthistle is a creeping perennial that reproduces by the time flowers appear the... Butterflies, and leaves attach in an alternating pattern up the stem be cleaned and eaten I once with... I may try that also… almost always be present with several daughter plants but the thistles, too are... Developing to 1 inch tall and more numerous than other thistles, from Scandanavia south and east to Africa! Determined weed if ever there was one peace with my husband that the best management.!

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