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Scotch Thistle (Onopordum accanthium)

Submitted by October 28, 2014 10:46 am

thumnail

From the Wikipedia entry on this invasive weed:

Onopordum acanthium (Cotton thistle, Scotch thistle), is a flowering plant in the family Asteraceae. It is native to Europe and Western Asia from the Iberian Peninsula east to Kazakhstan, and north to central Scandinavia, and widely naturalised elsewhere.[1][2][3] It is a vigorous biennial plant with coarse, spiny leaves and conspicuous spiny-winged stems.[4]

In the late 19th century, it was introduced to temperate regions of North AmericaSouth America, and Australia as an ornamental plant, and is now considered a major agricultural and wildland noxious weed. It has been recorded from nearly 50 countries.[16] It is difficult to eradicate because of its drought resistance. It can spread rapidly and eventually dense stands prohibit foraging by livestock.

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