- 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.
Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board 
University of California, Jepson Flora Project 
Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Council
Oregon Department of Agriculture 
California Invasive Plant Council 
USDA NRCS PLANTS 
USDA ARS GRIN 
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