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Photo Credit:  Daniel Laubhann

Common Name: Marsh Thistle

Scientific Name: Cirsium palustre

Habitat: grassland, grassland wet, forests - wet areas, ditches

Provincial Designation: Prohibited Noxious

Prohibited Noxious weeds are plant species that are designated as "prohibited noxious" in the Alberta weed regulation. Prohibited noxious weeds must be destroyed, meaning all growing parts need to be killed or the plant's reproductive mechanisms need to be rendered non-viable.

Origin

Marsh thistle is native to Europe. The method of its introduction into North America is unknown. It was first collected in the U.S. in 1902 and Newfoundland in 1910.

Legislated Because

It is unpalatable and replaces desirable forage plants. It can invade undisturbed riparian habitats, moist fields, and meadows. It replaces native vegetation, leading to a reduction in forage for wildlife and livestock.

Description

Several 1-2 cm wide flowers appear clustered at the end of the stem. The flowers are typically purple and occasionally white.

The leaves are typically spiny and deeply lobed.

A key characteristic of this plant is the prickly wings that grow along its stem.

This thistle usually grows in moist areas and reaches up to 2 m tall.

Learn more about this species:

See Fact Sheets - Alberta Invasive Species Council

For More Information

Weed Management

Telephone

In Edmonton: 311

Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

Email invasiveweeds@edmonton.ca

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