Plumless Thistle

(Carduus acanthoides)

 

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© Richard Old
© Loke Kok

Plumeless thistle (Carduus acanthoides) is a winter annual or biennial that is native to Europe and Asia. Plumeless thistle rosettes have wavy leaves with yellow spines along the white-colored leaf margins. The stems are covered with leaf-like, winged spines that extend up to the flowering heads. The flower heads, in clusters of 2 to 5, are alone at the end of the branches. They are purple to dark red in color and are 1/2 to 1 inch in diameter. Leaves are alternate, stalk-less, hairy underneath and blend into the stem. Mature plants can grow taller than 5 feet and can produce upwards of 9,000 seeds.

Plumless thistle Fact Sheet pdf file

Plumless thistle map