Saffron Thistle

Also known as:
Woolly Distaff Thistle, Distaff Thistle, Woolly Safflower
Family:
Asteraceae
Origin:
Europe, Asia

General description

Annual or biennial herb with branching, woody, hairy stems with numerous spines. Leaves glossy green with spiny teeth on rosette & smaller & alternate on stems. Yellow or cream flowers (Oct-Nov) at tips of branches, surrounded by spiny bracts. Seeds topped with silky hairs.

Poor pasture, cultivated paddocks, waste areas. Prefers semi-arid conditions with low soil fertility.

Seeds spread by wind, water, on animals or machinery

Form dense, impenetrable stands. Lowers pasture productivity & seeds contaminate wool.

Site management

Maintaining a vigorous pasture cover will deter establishment

Recommended approaches

1. Biological agents give some control.
2. Grub out small infestations.
3. Spot spray crowns (100ml glyphosate/10L or 60ml Tordon BK/10L or 25ml clopyralid/10L). Do not use clopyralid in home gardens.
4. Boom spray seedlings & small plants autumn - early winter (4L glyphosate/ha).

Caution: when using any herbicide or pesticide PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

RPMS status

Surveillance - Whole Region
saffron thistle - Main species image