In Indiana, Canada thistle normally initiates growth in spring, reaches the flower-bud stage the first week in June, and full flower about the third week of June. Seed production is usually completed in early July. Undisturbed plants tend to become inactive during hot weather July and August. Then new shoots emerge during September and survive into November.
It is difficult to control because its extensive root system allows it to recover from control attempts. Combining control methods is the best form of Canada thistle management. Persistence is imperative so the weed is continually stressed, forcing it to exhaust root nutrient stores and eventually die.
Canada thistle Cirsium arvense is an aggressive, creeping perennial weed that infests crops, pastures, rangeland, roadsides and noncrop areas. Generally, infestations start on disturbed ground, including ditch banks, overgrazed pastures, tilled fields or abandoned sites.
Canada thistle reduces forage consumption in pastures and rangeland because cattle typically will not graze near infestations. Inthe Colorado Department of Agriculture surveyed counties and while incomplete, the results showed more thanacres infested with Canada thistle Figure 1.
One plant can colonize an area 3 to 6 feet in diameter in one or two years. Canada thistle grows in a variety of soils and can tolerate up to 2 percent salt content.
It is most competitive in deep, well-aerated, productive, cool soils. It usually occurs in to inch annual precipitation zones or where soil moisture is adequate. It is less common in light, dry soils. A survey conducted in showed Colorado has aboutacres infested with Canada thistle.
Emerged Canada thistle rosettes from roots in early spring. Canada thistle bolting growth stage in spring. Canada thistle in the late bud growth stage.
Canada thistle in flowering growth stage. Canada thistle develops from seed or vegetative buds in its root system. Horizontal roots may extend 15 feet or more and vertical roots may grow 6 to 15 feet deep.
Canada thistle emerges from its root system in mid- to late spring late April through May and forms rosettes Figure 2. The greatest flush of root-derived plants occurs in spring, but another flush occurs in fall. A flush can occur anytime during the growing season when soil moisture is adequate.
This is particularly a problem when Canada thistle growth is disturbed by tillage or herbicides. Plants that germinate from seed do so at about the same time as root-derived shoots.
Seedlings grow slowly and are sensitive to competition, particularly if shaded. Canada thistle seedlings develop a perennial habit the ability to reproduce from their root systems about seven to eight weeks after germination.
Canada thistle begins to flower in late spring to early summer in response to to hour days Figures 3, 4 and 5. Plants are male or female dioecious and grow in circular patches that often are one clone and sex. Female flowers produce a sweet odor and insects readily pollinate different sexed patches up to feet apart.
Canada thistle develops seed sparingly.GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF CANADA THISTLE. Canada thistle is a cool season perennial which spreads by seed and vegetatively by creeping roots. In Indiana, Canada thistle normally initiates growth in spring, reaches the flower-bud stage the first week in June, and full flower about the third week of June.
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Thistle Underwriting is a trading style of Thistle Insurance Services Limited. Thistle Insurance Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority FRN Lloyd’s Broker.