Carduus nutans

Carduus nutans_Musk Thistle_JM DiTomaso
Photo courtesy Joseph DiTomaso

Common names: musk thistle; giant plumeless thistle; nodding (plumeless) thistle;

Carduus nutans (musk thistle) is a biennial or winter annual (family Asteraceae) found in disturbed open sites, roadsides, pastures, annual grasslands, and waste areas, but is mostly limited to the Klamath and Cascade Ranges, northern Sierra Nevada, and Modoc Plateau in California. Previous populations in southern California were eradicated.

Cal-IPC Rating: Moderate

Cal-IPC Assessment

Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.

Weed RIC Management Notes

  • Management Notes - Information on management techniques and effectiveness from the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Weed Research & Information Center.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

Other Carduus nutans Information

  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - See the distribution of this species on Calflora's map of California.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution information with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • Jepson Online Interchange for California Flora - Information on taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • CDFA - California official noxious weeds.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Federal database with information on identification and distribution, and links to websites in individual states.
  • Bugwood - National database from the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia.