Date of this Version



© 1992, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


The history, identification and chemical, mechanical and cultural control of musk thistle are discussed. Musk thistle is a major problem for many Midwestern landowners. It reduces forage yields by robbing moisture and plant food from palatable grasses. Livestock refuse to enter heavily infested areas and will not graze close to the spiny plants. Since its emergence as a serious weed problem in the late 1940s, musk thistle has invaded thousands of acres of Nebraska pastureland and even occurs in some cultivated fields. It has moved from the Kansas border to the South Dakota border and as far west as Colorado and Wyoming.