Annual (occasionally biennial) that infests disturbed area such as roadsides and open fields, as well as rangelands, grasslands, open woodlands, pastures and crop fields. Yellow starthistle is toxic to horses if consumed.
ALSO KNOWN AS: Golden starthistle, yellow cockspur, St Barnaby's thistle.
STEMS and LEAVES: Stiff, wiry stems (1-6 ft. tall) are often branched; leaves (1.5-6 in. long) are blue to gray-green, densely covered with fine, cotton-like hairs, alternate, linear to oblong in shape with smooth, toothhead, or lobed margins; leaf bases extend down the stem creating wings (up to 0.2in. wide)
FLOWERS: Flower heads (0.5-1.5 in. diameter) found singly at stem ends, oval or round with a yellow flower; several still, sharp, straw colored bracts (0.75 in. long) are found beneath the flower
REPRODUCTION: seed; successful management prevents seed and production /spread
Management Do's and Don'ts
NMSU: Troublesome Weeds of New Mexico College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, New Mexico State University
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