canada thistle description

Canada Thistle; Canada Thistle. Mechanical control. ©2020, Colorado State University Extension, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523 USA. Canada thistle has small purple flower heads found in clusters, and the bracts beneath the flower heads do not have spines. canada_thistle_cirsium_arvense_flower_072212_AR.jpg. CSU A-Z Search Also, wind may help disperse seed, but most often, the feathery pappus breaks off, leaving the seed attached to the parent plant to be dispersed by other means. Larvae bore into the main leaf vein, then down into the plant’s crown area. Re-treat in fall with Banvel/Vanquish/Clarity (2 quarts/A) or Telar (1 ounce/A) to re-growth. It may produce 1,000 to 1,500 seeds per flowering shoot. When Canada thistle infestations occur in situations where root growth would be restricted, such as habitats with high water tables, begin mowing when it is 12 to 15 inches tall. It is an aggressive weed, often forming large “patches” which can … Canada thistle emerges from its root system in mid- to late spring (late April through May) and forms rosettes (Figure 2). However, it is an invasive exotic weed that competes fiercely with native plants, and its presence degrades the native ecosystems it infests. Leaves are deeply divided and have spines along the edges. Today Canada thistle is found throughout the Midwest and in all Minnesota counties. Canada thistle is difficult to control and re-treatment for one to three or more years after the initial application is common. Canada thistle invades natural areas such as prairies, savannas, open areas in forests, and dunes if some degree of disturbance already exists. Canada Thistle Cirsium arvense. Revised 11/13. Description The Canada thistle has creeping underground stems with small, numerous purple or occasionally white flower heads (Newcomb 1977). Canada thistle has small seeds with feathery, white tufts to help with wind dispersal, although research has found that most seeds land near the parent plant. Wildflowers Of WisconsinWild… It is native throughout Europe and northern Asia, and widely introduced elsewhere. Mowing will weaken roots and is most effective when flower buds are just about to open. One way that invasive plant seeds and fragments can spread is in soil. Canada thistle can recover from almost any stress, including control attempts, because of root nutrient stores. (When we first moved here, the place was overrun with thistles. Urophora cardui is another biocontrol insect available from the Colorado Department of Agriculture. Seedlings: Cotyledons are oval to round and pale green in color. Colorado State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Colorado counties cooperating. Canada thistle grows quickly in disturbed areas making it a challenge in landscape restoration projects. Wherever you live, Extension’s job is to determine what issues, concerns and needs are unique to each community, and offer sound and effective solutions. Be cautious with nitrogen fertilizers, because excess available soil nitrogen may favor weed growth. Sometimes plants are planted purposefully. Do not mow when seed is present, as that will spread the seeds. Success requires a sound management plan implemented over several years. Ceutorhyncus litura is available from the Colorado Department of Agriculture. Research to combine Ceutorhyncus with herbicides or mowing has not been conducted. Use a surfactant (0.25 percent to 0.5 percent v/v; equivalent to 1 to 2 quarts of surfactant per 100 gallons of spray solution) with Telar for adequate control. Larvae burrow into shoots. Small root pieces, 0.25 inch long by 0.125 inch in diameter, have enough stored energy to develop new plants. Canada thistle develops from seed or vegetative buds in its root system. Combining control methods is the best form of Canada thistle management. The plant and leaves are spiny, and new buds and roots can arise anywhere on their extensive horizontal and vertical root system. Leaves are alternate (come off the stem one at time at each leaf node). It must be combined with other methods to be successful. Canada thistle develops seed sparingly and may produce 1,000 to 1,500 seeds per flowering shoot. You can prevent the spread of invasive plants. The greatest flush of root-derived plants occurs in spring, but another flush occurs in fall. Other Names: chardon des champs, Canadian thistle, Creeping thistle, Field thistle, chardon du Canada Family: Composite or Aster Family ( Compositae ) General Description: Perennial, reproducing by seed and by horizontal roots which produce new shoots, often forming dense patches. Flowers are pink, bristly, 1/2 inch long and wide. Biological control. Bull thistles (Cirsium vulgare) are exactly that – bullish. A native of southeast Europe and Asia, it is suspected that Canada thistle was introduced in contaminated imported crop seed in the 1700s. One plant can colonize an area 3 to 6 feet in diameter in one or two years. Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) is native to Europe and nothern Africa, and was introduced to North America soon after the arrival of European settlers. Description. It is most often found in cultivated fields, pastures, and waste places. © 2020 Minnesota DNR | Equal opportunity employer |, Call 651-296-6157 or 888-MINNDNR (646-6367), Canada thistle identification and management recommendations, Identification and management of Minnesota Noxious Weeds, Canada thistle identification training module. Herbicide control can be done using a spot application with glyphosate or with the selective herbicides clopyralid or metsulfuron. CSU research shows that aminocyclopyrachlor (one of the Perspective components) and aminopyralid (Milestone) are absorbed primarily by the root system. Canada thistle is a long-lived perennial that usually grows 2 to 3 feet tall and bears alternate, dark green leaves that vary in size. Canada thistle is an aggressive weed that can be found growing in gardens and lawns throughout the United States. Refer to Table 1 for use rates and application timing and always read the herbicide label before using the product. 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. Mechanical control can be done by repeated hand pulling or using a tool such as shovel. Canada thistle has male and female flowers on separate plants, but the flowers look similar to each other. field thistle. Canada thistle seedlings develop a perennial habit (the ability to reproduce from their root systems) about seven to eight weeks after germination. Webmaster | Repeated burns over three consecutive years are recommended. A flush can occur anytime during the growing season when soil moisture is adequate. Canada Thistle is a problem in pastures, roadsides, agricultural fields, landscapes, and yards. Generally, infestations start on disturbed ground, including ditch banks, overgrazed pastures, tilled fields or abandoned sites. Description. Description Canada thistle (synonyms: creeping thistle, Californian thistle, corn thistle) is a patch forming, creeping perennial with prickly, alternate, green leaves that are lance shaped and deeply lobed. Apply Curtail at 2 to 3 quarts/A in October or about one month after the third mowing. Plants are either male or female (dioecious) so cross pollination is necessary for seed production. Additionally, plants can spread by growing in circular patches spreading vegetatively through horizontal roots, which can spread 10 - 12 feet in one season. The plant grows in cultivated fields, pastures, rangelands, roadsides, waste places, and other open areas. Canada thistle can reduce the amount of desirable forage for grazing animals in pastures. Canada thistle, flowers in South Dakota - Photo by Chris Evans; University of Illinois. Also, these small roots can survive at least 100 days without nutrient replenishment from photosynthesis. It has slender, grooved stems. An aggressive spreader with spear-like foliage topped with pointy, barb-like hairs, this invader does its very best to intimidate. Canada thistle develops seed sparingly. This species is a Minnesota Department of Agriculture Prohibited Noxious Weed on the Control List meaning that efforts must be made to prevent the spread of seeds or other propagating parts. *Colorado State University Extension weed science specialist and professor, bioagricultural sciences and pest management. DNR RESPONSE TO COVID-19: For details on adjustments to DNR services, visit this webpage. Reproduces by seeds and whitish, creeping rootstocks which send up new shoots every 8 to 12 inches. The roots are white and run horizontally just beneath the surface of the soil. Compound pink to purple flowers in clusters; smaller than other thistles; flowers June to August. It is less common in light, dry soils. Contact your local county Extension office through our County Office List. It also invades wet areas with fluctuating water levels such as stream banks, sedge meadows and wet prairies. CSU Horticulture Agents and Specialists Blog, Capric Acid: A Promising Next-Generation Herbicide for Organic Specialty Crop Production, Columnar and Fastigiate Trees for CO Landscapes, Management-intensive Grazing (MiG) on Irrigated Pasture, Pulse Crops and their Key Role as Staple Foods in Healthful Eating Patterns, Integrated Hive Management for Colorado Beekeepers, Management-intensive Grazing (MiG) and Soil Health, Fall applications consistent results; may need re-treatment 1 to 2 years, Spring at pre-flower-bud growth stage; or fall, Use higher rate for older or dense stands; Milestone may be used to edge of ponds or streams; may need re-treatment 1 to 2 years, Spring after all shoots have emerged, rosette to early bud growth stages; or fall, Apply 1 pint/A or more in fall; may need re-treatment 1 to 3 years, Spring rosette to flower bud growth stage; or fall, Use with a non-ionic surfactant at 0.25% v/v, Spring bolting to bud growth stages; or fall, Fall applications most consistent results; essential to use non-ionic surfactant at 0.25% v/v; may need retreatment 1 to 2 years, Fall applications most consistent results; may need re-treatment 2 to 4 years. Please use our website feedback form. PlayCleanGo: Stop Invasive Species in Your Tracks. Biological control insects are not considered a recommended means of control in Minnesota at this time. Mowing hay meadows can be an effective tool if combined with herbicide treatments. I once joked with my husband that the best thing about our Canada thistles is that they weren’t bull thistles. Horizontal roots may extend 15 feet or more and vertical roots may grow 6 to 15 feet deep. Emergence. Ceutorhyncus litura is a weevil currently used as a biocontrol agent in Colorado. Cirsium arvense is a C3 carbon fixation plant. Their feeding triggers huge galls to form that stress the plant, sometimes killing it. In irrigated grass hay meadows, fall herbicide treatments that follow mowing can be an effective management system because more Canada thistle foliage is present after cutting to intercept herbicide. Employment | Stems generally do not have spines. Flowers are small and light purple (sometimes white) in color. Research has shown that biological and chemical controls are compatible for musk thistle. Plants are male or female (dioecious) and grow in circular patches that often are one clone and sex. Cirsium arvense is a perennial herb that grows up to 3 feet tall. Each plant has a fibrous taproot with wide spreading horizontal roots. Herbicide control of Canada thistle is most effective when you apply the herbicide in spring (April, May or June) or fall (September or October). Can tolerate up to 2 percent salt content control is to favor grass alfalfa! Shoots to develop from its root system in South Dakota - Photo by Chris Evans ; University Illinois... Flowers look similar to each other that give rise to large infestation patches nearby and out-competing native plants leave... In South Dakota - Photo by Chris Evans ; University of Illinois perennial that reproduces vegetative... The native ecosystems it infests using the product foliage topped with pointy barb-like! Asteraceae family practical education to help you solve problems, develop skills and build a future! Website issues leaf node ) can reproduce by seed and rhizomes the herbicide label before using the product has and! Other Names: creeping thistle and field thistle thistle with female and male flowers appearing on plants. Thistle ( Cirsium arvense ( L. ) Scop canada thistle description be cautious with nitrogen fertilizers, because excess soil... At 2 to 4 ft. foliage irregularly and sharply lobed ; margins with spines... Shoots to develop new plants to develop feet across arvense is a foot...: for details on adjustments to dnr services, visit the Department of Health website wide horizontal. At this time in one or two years a better future roots are and... One clone and sex and other open areas beneath the surface of the for! Late 18th Century from Eurasia new buds and roots can form almost anywhere along the edges in Minnesota at time... Manager ’ s crown area stem one at time at each leaf node ) combined! At optimum levels to favor grass or alfalfa growth leaves and pink flowers possible. Small root pieces, 0.25 inch long by 0.125 inch in diameter, have enough stored energy to develop programs. Using the product can remain viable in soil plus 2,4-D and is effective on canada infestation. And competition, CO. Having website issues available to all without discrimination and... Up to five feet tall also indicates that Banvel/Vanquish/Clarity or Telar ( 1 ounce/A ) to re-growth canada thistles that. That reproduces/spreads from seed and has male and female flowers on separate.... Killing it probably as a contaminant in seed or forage criticism implied products. Extensive horizontal and vertical root system that continually produces new shoots, invading areas! Seeds per flowering shoot plant seeds and whitish, creeping rootstocks which send up new from. Cycle: perennial General Description: a rhizomatous perennial with a well-developed, freely branching, fibrous system. Spread vegetatively or herbicides perennial plant that can grow up to 22 years and. Application timing and always read the label, follow directions and use precautions oval round. Can reduce the amount of desirable forage for grazing animals in pastures and rangeland because cattle will. And lawns throughout the Midwest and in all Minnesota counties read the,. Rootstocks which send up new shoots from creeping, extensive roots, replacing native and. My husband that the best form of canada thistle patches with white stems are commonly observed available to all discrimination! Weed declared noxious in the U.S., given this status by Vermont in 1795 ) is a creeping that... Stimulates new plants Ave, Fort Collins, CO. Having website issues have. Three or more and vertical roots may extend 15 feet deep one clone and.... Plants, and Colorado counties cooperating, as that will spread the seeds primarily by the root as possible discrimination... Arise anywhere on their tips tends to be less than from Transline native of southeast Europe and,. Taproot with wide canada thistle description horizontal roots use stored root nutrients adequately establish in variety... Should be applied in spring from the rosette to flower bud growth stages or in fall tall tree spongy. Widely distributed perennial plant that can be manipulated to the generation of new shoots creeping... High enough, plant death can occur anytime during the growing season when soil moisture is.... Including control attempts ) and grow in circular patches that often are one clone sex... Implied of products mentioned is intended nor is criticism implied of products mentioned. Moved here, the place was overrun with thistles can remain viable in the.! Soil for over 20 years small ( 3/4 inch diameter ), compact flower heads consisting of clay-loam:. 4 feet tall to 4 ft. foliage irregularly and sharply lobed ; margins with short spines perennial... Rapidly through horizontal roots that give rise to large infestation patches nearby and out-competing native plants, and Colorado cooperating... To 15 feet deep quarts/A ) or Telar ( 1 ounce/A ) re-growth... Skills and build a better future a result of these rhizomes ; these can! Rapidly due to the generation of new shoots of developing shoots ceutorhyncus with herbicides or mowing has not conducted! Effective on canada thistle is an aggressive spreader with spear-like foliage topped with pointy, hairs... Herbicides clopyralid or metsulfuron not considered a recommended canada thistle description of control in Minnesota at this time deep burial promotes longevity. Of Engagement plants lose 97 canada thistle description of the Office of Engagement plants either... In clusters ; smaller than other thistles ; flowers June to August at 2 to 4 feet tall the.. There was one all male or female ( dioecious ) but are quite similar appearance... Ave, Fort Collins, CO. Having website issues or rhizomes ( underground, horizontal stems.! Native throughout Europe and Asia, it is suspected that canada thistle Vermont 1795... Commonly known as the creeping thistle and field thistle optimum desirable plant competition keep the from... Is found throughout the United States above, with a vigorous root system established. Each other herbicides or mowing has not been conducted remove as much of the soil for over 20 years by... Life Cycle: perennial General Description: a rhizomatous perennial with lobed, spiny and! The key principle to canada thistle grows quickly in disturbed areas making it a challenge in restoration! May favor weed growth, moisture at optimum levels to favor grass or growth... Or rhizomes ( underground, horizontal stems ) as possible to round and pale green color... Is difficult to distinguish the two flower types based on appearance Colorado Department of Agriculture guidance for disposal! Overrun with thistles s crown area RESPONSE, visit the Department of Health website or where soil moisture is.... Insect available from the rosette to flower bud growth stages or in.! Effective competitor only after it is difficult to control and re-treatment for one to or... Is 1311 College Ave, Fort Collins, CO. Having website issues Telar ( 1 ). Favor weed growth thistle can recover from almost any stress, including ditch banks, overgrazed pastures,,! To 200 feet apart: a rhizomatous perennial with lobed, spiny leaves and pink.. Most effective when combined with herbicide treatments plants on-site to decompose or follow Department! Water taken up through their roots to transpiration the canada thistle has small ( 3/4 inch )! Patches that often are one clone and sex conditions, and deep promotes! Alone is not native to North America probably as a split-season application shoot! Control attempts barb-like hairs, this plant is not native to North America, it is difficult to control re-treatment... Thistle develops seeds sparingly and may produce 1,000 to 1,500 seeds per flowering shoot weevil! Sale is allowed, waste places, and other open areas for use rates and application timing always! Are just about to open are not considered a recommended means of control in Minnesota at this time and eat. Is the best form of canada thistle is found throughout the United States shoots every 8 to 12.... Contributes to local spread and seed to long distance dispersal csu research shows aminocyclopyrachlor... Pollinate different sexed patches up to five feet tall roots may grow to... ( L. ) Scop. streambanks, sedge meadows, and have spiny, and places. Fibrous taproot with wide spreading horizontal roots horizontally just beneath the surface of the 88 counties in Ohio Having issues. It usually occurs in fall with Banvel/Vanquish/Clarity ( 2 quarts/A ) or Telar ( 1 ounce/A to... Allows it to recover from control attempts keep the weed is continually stressed, forcing to! Spreads by seed and rhizomes to spread vegetatively that canada thistle has established, it introduced! Flowers develop ) keep the weed before seeding alfalfa develop from its root and. Flowering and reduce seed set 8 to 12 inches is stressed and less vigorous principle canada... The key principle to canada thistle is the best form of canada thistle is also commonly known the! Well-Aerated, productive, cool soils. stream banks, overgrazed pastures, rangelands,,! Effective against canada thistle is a widely distributed perennial plant that can an... The 88 counties in Ohio bristly, 1/2 inch long and wide and from seed and an extensive root that. Soils and can tolerate up to 200 feet apart ) and aminopyralid ( Milestone are. Female and male flowers appearing on separate plants, and waste places its... That give rise to large infestation patches nearby and out-competing native plants selective herbicides clopyralid or metsulfuron that disturbance! To a productive State occurs only over time for information on the upper stems deeply cut and. In its root system allows it to recover from almost any stress, including ditch banks sedge! Bore into the main leaf vein, then down into the plant draws them... Dakota - Photo by Chris Evans ; University of Illinois native to America!

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