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bull thistle

Cirsium vulgare

Weed Characteristics

Other Names: common thistle, spear thistle, bell thistle, bank thistle

Leaf Type: Broadleaf

Flowers: Red-violet

Leaves: Long and pointed with irregular edges; some hair

Life Cycle: Biennial

Rough, scratchy leaves have deep lobes and sharp, stiff spines. Spines are also on stems. Young plants have a low, rosette of leaves. Classic tufted thistle flowers have a pear-shaped base of sharp spines. Grows 2 to 5 ft. tall, developing a thick taproot in its first year.

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