slenderflower thistle, Italian thistle, winged plumeless thistle
- Carduus tenuiflorus is an herbaceous winter annual or biennial that invades disturbed areas. The most serious infestations occur in the Pacific coastal states, but Carduus tenuiflorus also occurs sporadically in the eastern United States. Plants grow up to 6 ft. (1.8 m) tall with single or multiple spiny stems with wings arising from the base of the spines.
- Stem wings can be up to 0.4 in. (10 mm) wide. Leaves are deeply lobed and also very spiny.
- The small flower heads (less than 1 in. [2.5 cm] long) are slender, purple, and lack stalks. Flowering occurs from May to July.
- Fruit has a dry outer coating and is 0.16-0.20 in. (4-5 mm) long.
- Ecological Threat
- Carduus tenuiflorus invades pastures, old fields, vacant lots, and other disturbed areas. Its presence reduces the forage productivity of pastures. It is native to Europe and was recognized as a serious invader in the western United States as early as 1956.
- Oregon Department of Agriculture Plant Programs, Noxious Weed Control
- Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board
- University of California, Jepson Flora Project
- Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Council
- California Invasive Plant Council
- USDA NRCS PLANTS
- USDA ARS GRIN
Images from Bugwood.org