WSU Extension

Hortsense

Weeds
 
Annual bluegrass 
Barnyardgrass 
Bentgrass, creeping 
Bermudagrass 
Bittercress (Shotweed, Hairy bittercress) 
Bittersweet nightshade (European bittersweet) 
Black medic 
Blackberry (Himalayan, Evergreen, Pacific) 
Blue mustard (Purple mustard, Tenella mustard) 
Brackenfern, western 
Buffalobur 
Bull thistle 
Buttercup, creeping 
Canada thistle 
Catchweed bedstraw (Cleavers) 
Catsear, common (False dandelion) 
Chickweed, common and mouseear 
Clover 
Comfrey 
Crabgrass 
Dandelion 
Dock (Curly, Broadleaf) 
Dodder 
Downy brome (Cheatgrass, Downy chess) 
Dwarf mistletoes 
English daisy (Lawn daisy) 
English ivy 
Field bindweed (Wild morningglory) 
Field pennycress (Fanweed) 
Flixweed 
Foxtail (Green, Yellow, Bristly) 
Garden loosestrife 
Giant hogweed 
Goldenrods 
Groundsel, common 
Hawkweeds 
Hedge bindweed 
Henbit 
Herb Robert (Robert geranium, stinky Bob) 
Horsetails (Scouringrush) 
Horseweed (Marestail) 
Knapweeds 
Knotweeds (Bohemian, Giant, Japanese, Himalayan) 
Kochia 
Lambsquarters, common 
Liverworts 
Mallow, common (Cheeseweed, Buttonweed) 
Nightshades 
Oxalis (Creeping woodsorrel) 
Parrotfeather and Eurasian watermilfoil 
Pineappleweed 
Plantain (Broadleaf, Buckhorn) 
Poison hemlock 
Poison ivy and Poison oak 
Prickly lettuce (China lettuce) 
Prostrate knotweed 
Puncturevine (Tackweed, Goathead) 
Purple deadnettle (Red deadnettle) 
Purple loosestrife (Purple lythrum) 
Purslane, common 
Quackgrass 
Red sorrel (Sheep sorrel) 
Redroot pigweed (Rough pigweed) 
Redstem filaree (Stork's bill, Crane's bill) 
Reed canarygrass 
Russian thistle (Tumbleweed) 
Ryegrass, annual (Italian ryegrass) 
Salsify (Goatsbeard) 
Scotch broom 
Shepherd's-purse 
Smartweeds 
Sowthistle, annual and perennial 
Speedwells 
Spurges (Prostrate spurges) 
St. Johnswort, common (Goatweed, Klamathweed) 
Stinging nettle 
Tansy ragwort 
Tumblemustard (Jim Hill mustard) 
Velvetgrass (Common velvetgrass) 
Velvetleaf 
Water primrose 
Waterhemlock, western 
Yellow nutsedge 



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Caption: Canada thistle flowers
Photo by: R. Parker
  
Weeds : Canada thistle : Cirsium arvense
(revision date: 8/24/2015)

Family: Asteraceae (Compositae)
Cycle: Perennial
Plant Type: Broadleaf

Biology
Canada thistle is an aggressive, spreading weed. The aboveground portions of the plants die back in the winter, but resprout from perennial roots in the spring. The alternate leaves are variously shaped, but are typically elongate and variously toothed or lobed, with spines on the margins and at the tips. Leaves may be hairy beneath. The erect, rigid, branching stems may reach up to four feet in height. Flowers (usually purple, occasionally white) are about 3/4" across. They are borne at the top of the plant in clusters. The base of the flower head lacks spines. Male and female flowers occur on different plants, with both male and female plants required for seed production. Canada thistle spreads aggressively from a deep, extensive system of roots and rhizomes. Uncontrolled patches may reach several yards across. SPECIAL INFORMATION: Cultivation is seldom recommended as a control, as breaking up the roots produces new plants. Canada thistle is designated as a Class 'C' noxious weed in WASHINGTON and a Class 'B' noxious weed in OREGON. Management may be required by law in your county. In addition, it is on the Oregon noxious weed quarantine list, which prohibits sale, purchase, and transport of plants, seeds, and plant parts. Consult your local Noxious Weed Control Board for more information.
Habitat
Canada thistle is found in fields, waste and cultivated areas, and pastures, commonly on heavy or rich soils.

Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Inorganic mulches, such as plastic, commercial "weed barrier" fabrics and other materials such as roofing paper, is an effective weed management option. Cover inorganic mulches with a thin layer of soil or organic mulch.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Apply according to label directions. Glyphosate products should be applied as spot treatments only! NOTE: Some ingredients listed here are only available in combination. Read the label carefully on combination products to make sure the product is suitable for your specific situation.

Landscape areas
  • glyphosate
  • dichlobenil
Turf areas
  • products containing 2,4-D
  • triclopyr
  • 2,4-D + MCPP + dicamba
Bare ground areas
  • glyphosate
  • products containing 2,4-D
  • triclopyr
Images

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Caption: Canada thistle flowers
Photo by: R. Parker
Caption: Flowering Canada thistle
Photo by: R. Parker
Caption: Canada thistle creeping root
Photo by: R. Parker
Caption: Canada thistle buds
Photo by: T. W. Miller
Caption: Canada thistle flower
Photo by: T. W. Miller
Caption: Canada thistle leaf
Photo by: T. W. Miller
Caption: Canada thistle rosette
Photo by: T. W. Miller
Caption: Thistles (Canada on left, Bull on right)
Photo by: T. W. Miller
Caption: Canada thistle
Photo by: T. W. Miller