Carduus nutans (weed)

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Carduus nutans (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Olivier Pichard
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Carduus nutans (weed) L. - (nodding thistle)

The thistle is wide-spread and an invasive pasture weed in North America (since the 1860s) as well as in Australia and New Zealand. About 7 thistles per hectare can reduce pasture yield by around 20%. Livestock do not feed on the thistles because of the thorny stems and leaves. In some states of North America, farmers are required to prevent thistles from producing seeds when they reach a given density.

Two weevils have been released in classical biological control programs, Rhinocyllus conicus and Trichosirocalus horridus. They attack the seed heads and the roots respectively and have been often able to reduce thistle density by 50% or more.

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Nickende Distel
• English: nodding thistle
musk thistle
• Français: chardon penche


See also the closely related Carduus thoermeri.

For details see the respective page in Wikipedia.