Cooperative Extension in Lancaster County
444 Cherrycreek Road, Lincoln, Nebraska. Phone: 402-441-7180. University of Nebraska-Lincoln



Musk Thistle Flower
This "Can You Guess It?? Feature Appears in the June 2005 Nebline

Musk Thistle Musk thistle (Carduus nutans L.) is a common noxious weed in Nebraska. It is also known as nodding thistle. The deep reddish purple flowers are large and attractive. The head is solitary on the end of the stem and nods or hangs down as it grows in size.

Noxious weed is a legal term used to identify harmful weeds so they can be regulated. The Nebraska Director of Agriculture establishes which plants are noxious.

Noxious weeds are non-native plants that can reproduce quickly and take over an entire area.

If noxious weeds aren't controlled they can affect the production of crops, livestock and can even make land less valuable.

In order to control musk thistle, you must keep it from developing seeds. Each plant can produce up to 20,000 seeds.

Musk thistle is primarily a biennial weed and normally requires two growing seasons to complete its life cycle. The photo above shows the musk thistle in its rosette stage and as a mature plant.

Did you know?

June is Noxious Weed Awareness Month. Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman signed a proclamation declaring June as Noxious Weed Awareness Month, while recognizing the potential noxious weeds have to reduce Nebraska’s crop yields. MORE


Weed Awareness Insert - NEBLINE

Musk Thistle - University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension

Lancaster County Weed Control Web site

Did you miss a
Can You Guess It??

See more photos
& resources here.


Lancaster County Home PageHome Page

University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension in Lancaster County
Confidentiality Statement

University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension educational programs
abide with the nondiscrimination policies of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
and the United States Department of Agriculture.
All Rights Reserved 1996-2005