Musk thistle (Carduus nutans)
- Biennial plant which reproduces only by seed; to successfully manage musk thistle, prevent seed formation.
- Average plant produces 10-20,000 seeds.
- Seeds may remain dormant in soil for over 10 years.
- Seeds germinate even under relatively dry conditions.
Musk thistle will not tolerate tillage and can be removed easily by severing its root below ground with a shovel or hoe. Mowing can effectively reduce seed output if plants are cut when the terminal head is in the late-flowering stage. Gather and burn mowed debris to destroy any seed that has developed.
Maintaining pastures and rangeland in good condition is a primary factor for musk thistle management. To favor pasture and rangeland grass growth, do not overgraze.
Please note that there are some native thistles, which are not noxious plants.
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