Bull Thistle

Scientific Name: Cirsium vulgare

  • Plant (prickly Wildflower)
  • Terrestrial Pest


  • Biennial herbaceous plant growing between 3 to 7 feet tall with one upright branched stem.
  • Upper leaf surface is rough with bristle-like spines while the undersides are covered with white woolly hairs.
  • It grows a rosette, flowers are purple or rarely white.

Where's it from?

Originally from Europe and Asia & now introduced throughout North America

Why is it a threat in the United States?

Bull thistle has the potential to form dense thickets that displace and prevent native vegetation from establishing & it takes up a lot of room.

Where does it occur in the United States?

It can now be found on every continent except Antarctica, and it is present in all 50 states in the U.S
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How does it spread? & How did it get to the United States?

Bull Thistle reproduces and spread exclusively by seed. They travel from place to place by the wind.

What are some ways the Bull Thistle population can be controlled? (Prevention)

Bull thistle only reproduces by seed, so prevention of seeding and taking care not to spread seeds are key to preventing new infestations. Using manual control you can shovel them to remove and kill the roots the the Bull thistle