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.