Thistle, Russian


Russian Thistle is a large and bushy noxious annual broadleaf plant. It occurs throughout the western United States, mostly in drier areas. Young plants have short lateral branches and taller than they are wide. Mature plants are large and bushy with rigid, purple-streaked or green stems that curve upward giving the plant a round shape. They usually get about 3’ tall. Leaves are bluish green, fleshy to leathery, sometimes hairy, and pointed. Upper stem leaves are stiff and prickly. After they turn grayish brown, the plants break from the roots at the soil line, becoming tumbleweeds that scatter seeds when blown around.

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