What's more, one individual plant can produce up to 5,000 seeds, making it quite prolific. It has a central taproot so does not spread by rhizomes. Cutting off only the flower stalks will merely make the plant sprout another shoot; also, cut flower stalks left on the ground are likely to produce viable seeds, even after they are cut. 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. Bull thistles are biennial and only bloom every two years. Soil disturbance can stimulate germination and a flush of new plants. The plant has colonized much of North America and is a pest plant in the garden and in agriculture. Flowers and fruit. Casual removal with this method is likely to leave behind the genesis of a plant in spite of the foliar amputation. The bull thistle is a biennially growing plant. Spiny-winged, hairy stems elongate during the second year, often branched up to 7 feet tall. Other Info: Similar to Canadian thistle, the more robust bull thistle was introduced to the United States in the 1800’s from Europe and Asia, and has now spread to 42 states, being declared a noxious weed in 16. If cut too early before flowering, plants may re-sprout and flower again that season. If the bull thistle population is large enough to support a good sized population of this insect, it can be an effective way to reduce seed production of the bull thistle. It is a prickly biennial that grows freely in disturbed soils, pastures, ditches, roadsides and unmanaged spaces. If only one cutting a year is possible, cut when plants are in bud for best results. See the biological control page for more information. Writer Bio. Carduus nemoralis E.H.L.Krause. Most King County offices will be closed on December 25, for Christmas Day. Bull thistle is a biennial plant that can grow up to six feet tall. Bull thistle reproduces only by seed, and indi-vidual plants set seed only once before dying. principle to bull thistle control is preventing seed production. Prevention: Bull thistle only reproduces by seed so prevention of seeding and takign care not to spread seeds are key to preventing new infestations. Weedy characteristics: Bull thistle is highly competitive and aggressive, and forms dense colonies that choke out native vegetation important to wildlife and pollinators. Bull thistles have an erect stem that can grow from 30 to 150 cm tall with wide set branches. Sign up for our newsletter. Chemical control: For information on herbicides and recommendations for control, please see the Pacific Northwest Weed Management Handbook. It's no wonder this species might take over a pasture in a few short years. Roots. Seeds usu-ally germinate in the spring and fall and have a 95% germination rate. Tall Thistle lives up to its name, growing up to seven feet in height. Bull thistle reproduces only by seed. Seeds germinate rapidly and are spread by wind. Even horses will help by picking out many of the nectar-rish flowers and eating them before they go to seed. This plant bears leaves that end in extended, very sharp thorns and are beige in colour. The seed of bull thistle remains viable for only a few years, but structures similar to those on dandelion seeds enable new bull thistles to drift downwind into the park. The species name, altissimum, means “the tallest.”It is a biennial with a tap root, not a rhizomatous root like some agressive, non-native thistles (i.e. For this reason, bull thistle removal is a priority among farmers and meticulous gardeners. Plants set seed only once before dying t bull thistles have an erect stem that can grow from the...: Keep up to three years Weed control program Directory, send email! 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