Weed-opedia: Musk Thistle – Southern Exposure

Weed-opedia: Musk Thistle

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Musk Thistle

Musk Thistle (Carduus nutans)

What does it look like?:  A typically biennial plant with long spiky leaves in a rosette at the base, and a large purple flower atop a spiky stem.

What causes it?:  Sparse turf

When does it show up?: Late spring

Best treatment plan:  Hand-pulling is effective for small infestations.  Post-emergent herbicide applied to rosettes before the flowers arrive, in spring and fall (late enough to kill all rosettes that germinate before winter) are effective for larger infestations. Call a professional for a free quote.

How long will it take to get rid of it?:  You’ll need a couple of years to be sure, because it is a biennial plant.