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how to identify thistles

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Please click here for more information. Typical leaf length is 3-4″ inches, although they may reach up to 8″ long and 1″ wide. Each plant can send up several stalks and produce numerous flower heads, each with viable seeds. A new broad-spectrum herbicide, Aminopyralid, manufactured by Dow AgroSciences, may be registered by the end of 2005. Using good cultural practices (including rotational grazing, maintaining optimal soil fertility, and periodic mowing) that result in vigorous, dense, and uniform stands will help keep pastures competitive with weeds. Base leaves are stalkless and clasping, or extended down the stem. The bracts beneath the flower heads do not have spines. We are not health professionals, medical doctors, nor are we nutritionists. Plants bolt in late May. Stem. Identification (see below for more photos) Branching, erect biennial, 2 to 6 feet tall
north-east United States (zones 4-7), but do grow elsewhere. It is native throughout Europe and northern Asia, and widely introduced elsewhere. This thistle is also commonly known as the creeping thistle and field thistle. Click. Depending upon the livestock species, some herbicides have a legal interval between application and reentry for grazing/harvest. While we strive to be 100% accurate, it is solely up to the reader to ensure proper plant identification. Public and private landowners are not required to control infestations of Canada thistle that occur on their property in King County. From the Fields - Can Spring Forage Stands Still be Seeded? Once biennials bolt or produce a seed stalk, they are less sensitive to herbicides. Typically the flowers are pinkish to lilac, but some flowers can be almost white. Because control is not required in the county, it is on the list of Non-Regulated Noxious Weeds for King County. We are here to help you with identification; once you know what you have, there are a wealth of resources for management. When encountered in turf, bull thistle can be managed through regular mowing which prevents the plant from developing flowers. The barbs must be removed from the leaves and the stems are to be shaved with a knife. Once registered, it will provide another option for thistle control. Biennials are most easily controlled by herbicides while in the seedling or rosette stage in the year of germination and up to bolting stage in the second year.

Bull thistle might be confused with native thistles as well as more serious noxious weeds such as milk thistle, a Class A noxious weed in Washington, and Canada thistle, a Class C noxious weed that is much more difficult to control. It's almost impossible to misidentify a thistle. Canada thistle develops seed sparingly and may produce 1,000 to 1,500 seeds per flowering shoot. We can provide advice on how to control Canada thistle, but there is generally no legal requirement to do so. Canada thistle is a perennial weed that has soft green, deeply lobed, spear-like leaves and these leaves have sharp barbs on them.

FIGURE 4. One of the easy-to-spot botanical differences between thistles and their numerous relatives in the daisy family, is that the overlapping bracts (involucre) found directly below the flowers of thistles, are always spiny. From the Fields - Alfalfa Growers Check for Sulfur Deficiency! If interested in participating in a biocontrol program for this thistle, please contact our office. It is commonly found on roadsides, cultivated fields and pastures, logged forests, and other disturbed areas. A fall or spring herbicide application will be effective. If allowed to go to flower, the flower is a purple pom-pom shape that will be produced in clusters at the top of the plant. The breathtaking globe-shaped purple flowers are loved by many, but the seeds they produce can survive in the soil for up to 20 years. The plants are 1-3′ tall, and leaves attach in an alternating pattern up the stem.

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