yellow starthistle USDA PLANTS Symbol: CESO3
U.S. Nativity: Exotic
Habit: Forbs/Herbs
Centaurea solstitialis L.

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Taxonomic Rank: Magnoliopsida: Asterales: Asteraceae
Synonym(s): yellow star thistle, yellow star-thistle, golden starthistle, yellow cockspur, St. Barnaby's thistle
Native Range: Africa, temp. Asia, Europe (GRIN);

Yellow starthistle is an annual that can grow from ¼ - 3 ft. (0.1-1 m) in height. Leaves near the base are petiolate, dissected, 2-6 in. (5-15 cm) long and usually absent at time of flowering. Leaves further up the stem are decurrent, entire and 0.4-4 in. (1-10 cm) long. Flowering occurs from June to October, when yellow flowers appear in heads at the tips of the branches. Bracts that subtend the flower head have a small cluster of spines and a stout central spine 0.4-1 in. (10-25mm) in length. Yellow starthistle was accidentally introduced into the United States in the mid- 1800’s as contaminate of alfalfa seed. Yellow starthistle invades woodlands, pastures, roadsides and fields.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

Selected Images from Invasive.orgView All Images at Invasive.org


Plant(s); in flower
Charles Turner, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Peggy Greb, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); Spines are equal to or greater than 45° angle from stem
Cindy Roche, , Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); Seedling stage
Cindy Roche, , Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); Bolting stage
Cindy Roche, , Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); Rosette
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Foliage;
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Feature(s); Spines
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s);
Cindy Roche, , Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. Illustrated flora of the northern states and Canada. Vol. 3: 560.
USDA PLANTS Database, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
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EDDMapS Distribution:
This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts and records obtained from USDA Plants Database. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org
 


State(s) Where Reported invasive.
Based on state level agency and organization lists of invasive plants from WeedUS database.

U.S. National Parks where reported invasive:
Death Valley National Park (California)
Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)
Redwood National Park (California)
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (Californina)
Yosemite National Park (California)



Invasive Listing Sources:
California Invasive Plant Council
Faith Campbell, 1998
Jil M. Swearingen, Survey of invasive plants occurring on National Park Service lands, 2000-2007
John Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Survey of TNC Preserves, 1995.
Mid-Atlantic Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2005
National  Wildlife Refuge Association, Silent Invasion: A Call to Action from the National Wildlife Refuge Association, 2002. Washington DC. 17 pp.
New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Division of Plant Industry, 2004
Pacific Northwest Exotic Pest Plant Council, 1998