Erect, spiny annual, herb, 0.15-0.7(-0.9) m high, leaves rigid with spiny lobes. Fl. yellow, Dec or Jan to Apr. Variety of soils. Weed of crops, pastures & waste grounds.
Beard’s Provinces: Eremaean Province, South-West Province.
IBRA Regions: Avon Wheatbelt, Coolgardie, Esperance Plains, Geraldton Sandplains, Jarrah Forest, Mallee, Murchison, Nullarbor, Swan Coastal Plain.
IBRA Subregions: Avon Wheatbelt P1, Avon Wheatbelt P2, Central band, Nullarbor Plain, Eastern Goldfield, Eastern Mallee, Eastern Murchison, Fitzgerald, Geraldton Hills, Lesueur Sandplain, Northern band, Carlisle, Northern Jarrah Forest, Perth, Southern Cross, Southern Jarrah Forest, Western Mallee.
IMCRA Regions: Leeuwin-Naturaliste.
Local Government Areas (LGAs): Bridgetown-Greenbushes, Carnamah, Chittering, Cockburn, Dalwallinu, Donnybrook-Balingup, Dumbleyung, Esperance, Gnowangerup, Greater Geraldton, Harvey, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Koorda, Menzies, Moora, Northampton, Ravensthorpe, Three Springs, Toodyay, Westonia, Yilgarn.
Alternative Names. Distaff Thistle, Downy Safflower.
General Biology. Growth form. Herb. Life form. Annual. Reproduction. Seed. Dispersal. Water, adhesion, wind, contaminant of grain and wool. Seedbank persistence. 8 years.
Notes. Widely naturalised in warm-temperate and subtropical semi-arid areas, often on low fertility soils in areas receiving 300 to 600 mm of annual rainfall. Germinates mainly in autumn and early winter, however this can be staggered in south-west WA. Most seeds are dispersed close to the parent plant, but some remain in the persistent seed heads. Rates of dormancy can vary among populations at different locations. Most seeds germinate after the first autumn rains 1-3 years following maturation, but some seed can remain dormant and viable for up to 8 years under field conditions. Optimal emergence occurs at or just below the soil surface. Seeds are susceptible to predation by termites. Declared plant in Western Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and several states in the US. Targeted for biological control.
Additional information. Origin. Egypt, temperate Asia, Turkey, Europe.
Suggested method of management and control. Hand remove isolated plants through spring and early summer. Glyphosate at 50% applied by wick or spot spraying with 0.5% glyphosate provides good control. Alternatively spot spray Lontrel® 10 ml/10 L + wetting agent. Best controlled at rosette stage. An integrated program involving a combination of techniques will be most effective. 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.
Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.
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Western Australian Herbarium (1998–). FloraBase—the Western Australian Flora. Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions. https://florabase.dpaw.wa.gov.au/