- Plants form a deep tap root up to 70cm long in the first year.
- Creeping thistle spreads via lateral roots which produces new shoots.
- Roots are brittle and easily broken, fragments can regenerate to form new plants.
- Large clumps are either male or female and will not self-fertilise, cross pollination can occur where male and female clumps grow adjacent to each another.
- Seeds are airborne and readily germinate in warm weather.
- Although the species can be invasive, seeds are an important food source for a range of farmland birds including linnets and finches.
- Creeping thistle is a tall biannual species, the flowering stem typically grows to 1 – 1.5m in height usually in the second year.
- Leaves are elongated, narrow and spined. The upper surface of the leaf is waxy and the underside downy.
- Flowers heads appear from July to September with lilac-purple florets.
- Seeds have a downy pappus which aids wind dispersal. The flower stems die back after producing seed.
Creeping thistle can be successfully treated with herbicide, applications are most effective whilst the plant is actively growing and before the flower heads show colour. Established infestations may require several treatments.
Digging thistle can make the problem worse are broken fragments of root will regenerate forming new plants. Infestations can be weakened by repeated cutting over a number of years before the plants produce seed.
If you have concerns over Creeping thistle on your land, if you are unsure of your legal responsibilities, or if you would like a quotation for control, please contact one of our specialist surveyors. Treatment costs start at £380.00 + VAT.