Yellow Starthistle Management Guide


by Joseph M. DiTomaso, Guy B. Kyser, and Michael Pitcairn
2006 by California Invasive Plant Council
When the shop re-opens, printed copies of this manual will be sold for $5. It is also available as a free pdf download. 

74 pages, color throughout

This guide compares the advantages and disadvantages of techniques used to control one of the most widespread weeds in California, including mechanical methods, chemical treatments, cultural practices, and biological agents. Includes case studies using integrated methods.




Yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis) is one of the most serious rangeland, grassland, and wildland weeds in the northwestern United States, impacting native plant diversity, altering water cycles, and poisoning livestock. Yellow starthistle invades 12 million acres in California alone. This guide begins with a description of the biology and ecology of yellow starthistle and its history in California. It then provides a comprehensive overview of treatment methods for yellow starthistle, including each method’s advantages and disadvantages, timing, and best fit in a strategic management plan.

View a pdf of the full YST Guide (8 MB file). Individual chapters available below.

Joseph M. DiTomaso is an Extension Non-Crop Weed Ecologist with the University of California-Davis.

Guy B. Kyser is a Staff Research Associate at the University of California-Davis.

Michael J. Pitcairn is a Senior Environmental Scientist (Entomology) with the Biocontrol Program of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Project Support

Department of Defense Legacy Program

USDA Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service

US Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Research and Development Center