Noxious Weeds of Nebraska

Published 2012
Cover Display for EC176

Musk thistle (carduus nutans L.) is an introduced invasive broadleaf weed native to Europe, North Africa and Asia.

Although classified as a biennial plant, opportunistic might be a better descriptor because musk thistle can behave as an annual or a winter annual depending on the growing conditions. ALthough it regenerates only from seed, seedlings can emerge any time during the growing season.

Musk thistle is a prolific seed producer. Large, extensively branched plants in sparse stands may have 100 or more heads with a total production of about 20,000 seeds.

Control methods include cultural, mechanical, biological and chemical.

Publication Details


Fred W. Roeth

Steven R. Melvin

Irvin L. Schleufer




Publication Date March 03, 2003
Last Revision Date March 06, 2012
Language English

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Series Extension Circular