Scotch thistle (Onopordum acanthium)

Weed photo of: Onopordum acanthium
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Mech: Sever the root below the surface. Removal by pulling or digging the rosettes before they have begun to flower is the simplest and most effective method of control. Plant does not reproduce vegetatively so severing the roots will kill the plant. Tilling is another effective method in a garden area, while mowing is not as effective because the flower can still produce seed. Plant pieces must be carefully bagged and disposed of to prevent spread. Control of these plants must include preventing new seed dispersal for up to 6 years.


Sharp spines have a tendency to punch through even the thickest leather gloves. Caution is advised when pulling and long-handled cutting tools are often helpful.