Cirsium vulgare (Savi) Ten. Spear Thistle
Fl.Nap. 5:209 (1835)

Conservation Code: Not threatened
Naturalised Status: Alien to Western Australia
Name Status: Current
Browse to the list of specimens for Cirsium vulgare (Savi) Ten.
Photo of Cirsium vulgare (Savi) Ten.

Brief Description
Amanda Spooner, Tuesday 29 April 1997

Spiny biennial, herb, 0.05-1.5(-3) m high. Fl. purple-red, Jan to Dec. Weed of pastures & roadsides in higher rainfall areas.


Beard’s Provinces: Eremaean Province, South-West Province.

IBRA Regions: Avon Wheatbelt, Coolgardie, Esperance Plains, Jarrah Forest, Mallee, Swan Coastal Plain, Warren.

IBRA Subregions: Avon Wheatbelt P1, Avon Wheatbelt P2, Eastern Mallee, Fitzgerald, Northern Jarrah Forest, Perth, Recherche, Southern Cross, Southern Jarrah Forest, Warren, Western Mallee.

IMCRA Regions: Leeuwin-Naturaliste, WA South Coast.

Local Government Areas (LGAs): Albany, Augusta-Margaret River, Bayswater, Beverley, Boyup Brook, Bridgetown-Greenbushes, Chittering, Cockburn, Cranbrook, Denmark, Dundas, Esperance, Gingin, Gnowangerup, Harvey, Jerramungup, Kellerberrin, Kent, Kulin, Manjimup, Nannup, Narrogin, Perth, Plantagenet, Ravensthorpe, Rockingham, Serpentine-Jarrahdale, Stirling, Swan, Wagin, Wanneroo, Yilgarn, York.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)
Kate Brown and Karen Bettink, Thursday 24 July 2014

Alternative Names. Common Thistle, Black Thistle, Bull thistle, Scotch Thistle.

General Biology. Growth form. Herb. Life form. Annual. Reproduction. Seed. Dispersal. Wind, water, machinery, animals (particularly birds consuming seed, collecting the silken tassels for nests). Seedbank persistence. Highly variable, up to 10 years. Fire response. Resprouts after fire. Fire creates conditions suitable for mass germination of soil-stored seed.

Notes. Occurs in subhumid to cool-temperate regions usually on more fertile heavier soils. An aggressive weed in disturbed sites. Can be biennial. Flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female parts), are self-pollinated or cross-pollinated by bees, flies, moths, butterflies and beetles. Intolerant of shade and requires moist soil to establish. Can be dispersed by the wind over a large area, however the pappus can readily detach from seed at maturity, leading the majority of seeds to fall within a short distance of the parent plant. Seedlings and young rosettes are susceptible to drought over summer. After germination a major root system develops rapidly, whilst a rosette is more slowly formed above ground. Peak flowering normally occurs in late spring to early summer. Soil disturbance promotes germination. Seeds mature and may disperse within 7 to 10 days of flowering. Seed viability is high. Germination is stimulated by mositure, disturbance and/or nutrients.

Additional information. Origin. Western Asia, Europe, North Africa. History of use/introduction. Food.

Suggested method of management and control. Glyphosate at 0.5% provides effective control of seedling and adult plants, alternatively spot spray Lontrel® 6 ml/10 L (300 ml/ha) + wetting agent, from rosette stage to early flowering. Blanket wipers or wick applicators using 50% glyphosate can provide some selective control. Eliminating seed production is the most effective mechanical control technique. Mowing/slashing at bud or early bloom stage will cause plants to resprout. However, close mowing or cutting twice per season will usually prevent seed production. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.

Management Calendar

Calendar TypeJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecComments
Germination   YYYYYYO   
Optimum Treatment   OYYYYYO   

Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.



Project information and acknowledgements