Stevens County Noxious Weed Control Board
This web site will help you identify & control noxious weed with information and photographs to aid you.

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Confused by thistles?

 You're not alone!  We get a lot of folks calling or dropping by to ask how to get rid of their purple thistle.  Well, as you can see from the photos below, nearly all the thistles in our County are some shade of purple, so color is not a very good identifier.  The thistles pictured here include 5 invasive species and 1 native plant that is a "good guy".  Bull, musk, plumeless and Scotch thistle are all biennial thistles spreading by seed production only.  Canada thistle is the one noxious perennial thistle we have in the County.  It spreads by underground creeping roots as well as seeds.  The native wavy leaf thistle is a perennial, spreading by seed only.  Canada and bull thistle are common throughout the county.  Plumeless is very prevalent in the north half, with smaller outbreaks south of Hwy 20.  Scotch thistle occurs in every region of the county, but usually only as small patches and only a few dozen sites total.  Wavy leaf likes dry pine sites and hot, gravelly road banks and can be seen in many parts of the county.  It's flowers are very fragrant.  

Click on the pictures below to see a larger view of each.  If you still aren't sure which thistle you have or if you have any questions in general, please call, stop by or email our office and we'll be glad to help. 

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bull Canada musk plumeless Scotch wavy leaf
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bull Canada musk plumeless Scotch wavy leaf
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bull Canada musk plumeless Scotch wavy leaf
Last Edit: March 25, 2015

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