4. However, the plants are susceptible to herbicides as long as green tissue exists. In its second year of growth, the musk thistle plant will leave the rosette … Most seed germinate the first year, but some dormant musk thistle seeds can remain viable in the soil for as long as five to seven years. A wider window of opportunity for treating musk thistle also exists in the fall. However, it may germinate and flower in a single year in warmer climates. In its second year of growth, the musk thistle plant will leave the rosette stage as its stemelongates (bolts) toward the mature, flowering plant with a large fleshy taproot that is corky and hollow near the ground surface. By 1985 the field was nearly clear of musk thistle. BULL THISTLE. Share However, musk thistle control is easiest as a rosette (Figure 2, bottom photo). By Walt Fick, Extension Rangeland Management Specialist. Flowers emerge in May through September. Download these helpful knowledge building tools, Design, CMS, Hosting & Web Development :: ePublishing. All treatments provided excellent control of rosettes present at the time of spraying (data not shown). Footnotes. The second year it bolts and sends up a tall flowering stalk with many purple flower heads. Tordon 22K contains 2 lbs per gallon picloram. Figure 5 Musk thistle dominated this … Musk thistle and plumeless thistle are very difficult to tell apart. Figure 9. These two thistles are biennials that form a rosette in the first year and in the second year they send up a reproductive stalk from the rosette. They are about 1/4 inch long and have a short broad snout. Musk thistle is primarily a biennial or winter annual species. Musk Thistle Musk thistle is a biennial which means it only lives for two years. Carduus nutans is usually a biennial, requiring 2 years to complete a reproductive cycle. Winter annual plants will germinate with moisture and warm temperatures in the fall, live through the winter, and bolt the following year. Apply when musk thistle is in the rosette stage, but before the diameter of the rosette exceeds 3 inches. The spraying window in the fall probably extends until the ground is frozen and the musk thistle plants have shut down activity until warmer temperatures in the spring. Flowering and seed production can start 45 to 55 days after bolting. A musk thistle seedling has a flat growing rosette. Bull, musk and plumeless thistle (Cirsium vulgare, Carduus nutans and acanthoides) germinate in the summer and fall and overwinter as a rosette. Figure 2A. Prevention of this plant's invasion is the best form of management. Musk thistle rosette, which often grows 2 feet or more in diameter, with no pubescence on the underside of the leaf, which helps distinguish it from plumeless thistle rosettes. Musk thistle is usually a biennial, requiring 2 years to complete a reproductive cycle, but may germinate and flower in a single year in warmer climates. Table 1. Plants are usually two to six feet tall or taller. Bull thistle generally is the least serious of the noxious thistles. Second year plants usually bolt in late May. the leaves of musk thistle rosettes. Musk thistle forms a rosette the first year and then bolts the second year to produce flowering stalks and has a taproot. Musk thistle, Carduus nutans L., is an invasive weed that has become widespread in the contiguous states of the United States. Freezing temperatures will start to damage musk thistle plants, with some yellowing and curling of leaves. Seedlings may emerge at any time from spring to late summer and develop a rosette.
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