Musk Thistle (Carduus nutans L.)


(Carduus nutans L.)


GROWTH HABIT:  Biennial, or winter annual, erect up to 7’ tall.  Freely branching.  Rosette formed 1st year, flowering stem elongates 2nd year.

LEAVES:  Dark green with light midrib, hairless on both sides, long sharp spines.

STEMS:  Hairless.

FLOWERS:  Solitary, terminal, nodding heads, 1½” to 3” in diameter, deep rose to violet to purple.

ROOTS:  Fleshy taproot, hollow near ground surface.

SEEDS:  Can be in excess of 20,000 per plant with 90% viable.  90% may germinate in first two years. Seeds may germinate after 10 years in soil.

OTHER:  Reproduce by seed only.