Carthamus lanatus

Carthamus lanatus_Woolly distaff thistle_flowerhead_JM DiTomaso
Photo courtesy Joseph DiTomaso

Synonyms: Carthamus lanatus ssp. lanatus

Common names: woolly distaff thistle; false starthistle; saffron thistle; woolly safflower; woolly starthistle

Carthamus lanatus (woolly distaff thistle) is a winter annual forb (family Asteraceae) found in disturbed open sites, roadsides, pastures, annual grasslands, and waste areas. Its spiny foliage can injure livestock. It is primarily found in the northern coast ranges of California.

Cal-IPC Rating: High

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.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

  • Cooper, V. K. and B. J. Moritsch (1999). Weeding the wilderness: Non-native plant management at Point Reyes National Seashore. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium '99. Sacramento, CA.
  • DiTomaso, J. M. (2004). 2004 Cal-IPC Red Alert! New invasions, recent expansions, and a few others to be on the look-out for. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2004. Ventura, CA.

Other Carthamus lanatus Information

  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • CalFlora - Distribution information based on submitted observations and herbarium specimens.
  • 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.