Species category: Broadleaf Weed
Scientific name: Cirsium vulgare
Black Thistle – What is it?
A perennial broadleaf weed with a sharp, spiny leaf that can be green to reddish-purple in colour. It produces a flat basal rosette of leaves which are dark green.
The large red- purple flowers usually occur singly on the flower stalk. The stems are hairy and heavy, they branch out at the top.
The plant can reach 1.5m in height. It is also commonly known as the Bull Thistle, Spear Thistle or the Scotch Thistle.
When does Black Thistle occur?
It is common in cooler or more temperate climates, expect flowers from July to September.
It grows incredibly well in most soil types, especially newly sown turf, rough grass and waste ground. Reproduction is by seed.
What damage or effect will Black Thistle have?
It can be an invasive species in some parts and infestations can quickly increase in density, as it is not a desirable plant to grazing livestock and other animals. It can dominate vegetation.
A huge number of seeds can be produced by a single plant and they exist as long as a moisture source is available.