Yellow starthistle (Centaurea solsitialis)

  • Yellow Starthistle Plant 215x150

Category A Weed

Sunflower family (Asteraceae)

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  • Stiff, wiry, 1-6 ft. tall and usually branched; wings (less than 0.2 in. wide) extend down stem


    • Blue- to gray-green, 1.5-6 in. long and densely covered with fine hairs

    • Rosette leaves are oval to strap-like (linear) with deeply lobed edges (margins); stem leaves are alternate, strap-like to oblong with smooth to wavy edges


      • Yellow, located singly at branch tips or axils; base of flower is vase-shaped, 0.5-0.75 in. diameter and covered with cotton-like hairs and stout, straw-colored spines 0.5-1 in. long


        • Deep taproot


          • Often infests rangeland, pastures, cultivated fields, waste areas and roadsides; known to occur in Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, Elko, Humboldt, Lander, Lyon, Mineral, Pershing, Storey and Washoe counties

          • Annual; reproduces by seed

          • Causes "chewing disease" in horses by damaging the area of the brain that controls fine motor movements, particularly of the mouth, resulting in starvation or dehydration


            • Grazing, mowing, burning, pulling, digging and cultivation can be effective if done prior to seed production

            • Several biological control agents are available

            • Apply aminopyralid, 2,4-D, clopyralid, dicamba or picloram to actively growing plants before flowering


              Yellow Starthistle Plant 215x150
              Yellow Starthistle Rosette 215x150
              Yellow Starthistle Flower 215x150
              Yellow Starthistle Infestation 215x150
              Yellow Starthistle Leaf 215x150
              Winged Stem
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