Noxious Weeds Profile - Bull Thistle

Table of Contents


  • English - bull thistle
  • French - chardon vulgaire
  • Latin Name - Cirsium vulgare (Savi) Ten.


Bull Thistle

Current Status

  • Ontario Weeds Act - noxious
  • Other provinces - noxious in Manitoba
  • Canadian Federal Seeds Act - no
  • U.S. Federal Noxious Weed - no
  • U.S. Noxious State Reg - 8 states (including Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania)


  • Pub 505 - no
  • NE Weeds - no
  • Canadian Poison Plant - not listed
  • Cornell Poison Plant - not listed


  • Common in pastures, roadsides and waste areas.


Growth Habit

  • Biennial

Method of Propagation

  • Seeds (wind blown)


  • Susceptible to dicamba and glyphosate. 2,4-D gives control of top growth only. Not listed on Banvel label. Best time to mow is at full flowering but before seeds ripen in mid summer. Mowing will not kill first year rosettes. Cultivation needs to cut them off below the rosette or crown of the plant.

Related Links

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
Author: Mike Cowbrough - Chief Weed Inspector Ontario Weeds Act/OMAFRA
Creation Date: March 2003
Last Reviewed: 28 December 2006