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Contact Info

Dr. Misha Manuchehri
371 Agricultural Hall
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078

Phone: (405) 744-9588
FAX: (405) 744-0354

Carduus nutans (musk thistle)

musk thistle
Carduus nutans                                   

Identifying Characteristics:

Seed:   achene, straw-colored, oblong, glabrous, protrusion at attachment of plumeless, whitish pappus

Seedling:  basal rosette; leaves waxy, pale green, prominent veins, coarsely lobed

Mature Plant:  fibrous roots from large, shallow, fleshy, corky, hollow taproot; erect stem, branched, spiny, winged appearance, spine at tip of each lobe; alternate leaves, dark green with light green midribs and white margins, spines prominent on each lobe, white or yellow; mostly solitary inflorescence heads nodding at ends of branches, disk florets deep rose to violet or purple; spine-pointed tips

Method of Propagation: seed

Life Cycle: biennial or rarely annual herb


Bryson, Charles T. & Michael S DeFelice. "Weeds of the South."

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