Bull Thistle
Scientific Name: Cirsium vulgare
Weed Family: Asteraceae


A variety of thistles are found in turf. Like most, bull thistle is a biennial. It grows over the summer months. The leaves are alternate; blades are simple and form in a rosette. The leaves are unlobed to pinnately lobed. The blade tip is pointed and the margins are toothed with spines. The root is a fleshy taproot the first year and a fibrous root system forms the second year. The second year of growth, thistle stems elongate. The elongated stems have alternating leaves. Flowers are present from June through October on the elongated stems. The disk flowers are dark pink to purple with spined bracts. Bull thistle spreads by seeds. Thistles are found throughout the United States and Canada.

Herbicide Use

Thistles that are actively growing and in the rosette to flower stage of growth can be controlled with a post-emergence herbicide application.


Germination Dates

Zone-3: MayZone-4: MayZone-5: AprilZone-6: AprilZone-7: March-AprilZone-8: March-April