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Spear thistle (Cirsium vulgare) (Nox)

Invasive Assessment | Impact Assessment | Potential Distribution | Present Distribution

Scientific name:Cirsium vulgare (Savi) Ten

Common name:

Spear thistle, Black thistle


Noxious weed. The Agriculture Victoria website has information about the noxious weed classification of this species.


Subhumid to cool-temperate regions where it grows well on exposed moderately warm sites up to subalpine levels, usually on the more fertile soils (Parsons and Cuthbertson 1992). It prefers heavy soils of reasonable fertility and grows well under irrigation (Parsons and Cuthbertson 1992). It occurs as a weed in a wide range of environments particularly annual pastures and neglected areas (Parsons and Cuthbertson 1992). Spear thistle invades dry coastal vegetation, heathland and heathy woodland, lowland grassland and grassy woodland, dry sclerophyll forest and woodland, damp sclerophyll forest, wet sclerophyll forest, riparian vegetation, freshwater wetland (seasonal), saline and sub-saline wetland, rock outcrop vegetation, warm temperate rainforest, cool temperate rainforest and alpine and subalpine vegetation (Carr et al 1992).

Photo: Spear thistle flower
Spear thistle flower

Photo: Mark Imhof
Photo: Spear thistle rosette
Spear thistle rosette
Photo: Mark Imhof
Photo: Spear thistle plant
Spear thistle plant
Photo: Mark Imhof

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