Common Name: Canada Thistle
Scientific Name: Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop.
Efforts must be made to prevent seed maturation and dispersal of plants into new areas. Additionally, no transportation, propagation, or sale of these plants is allowed. Failure to comply may result in enforcement action by the county or local municipality. Minnesota Noxious Weed Law
Canada thistle is native to Europe. It was introduced to North America in the 1600s, probably in agricultural seed shipments and is now widespread throughout the United States and Canada.
Found growing in a wide range of habitats. Typically infests a variety of disturbed landscapes and is commonly found along roadsides, trails, natural areas, pastures, forest and field margins, mining locations, waste areas and unmaintained gravel pits. This plant establishes quickly after new road construction, housing and development projects, overgrazing of pastures, forestry clear-cuts, and destructive flooding events.
Spreads primarily by rhizomes and seeds. Found commonly throughout Minnesota. View Canada thistle distribution in Minnesota.
This plant is highly invasive, severely reduces pasture capacity and desirable forages, degrades wildlife habitat, and can hinder reforestation and landscape restoration efforts. Once a population gets established, it begins to quickly displace native vegetation, including desirable pollinator habitat, creating large stands with little biological diversity and low habitat value.
MDA Noxious Weed Program
County Ag Inspectors