Click on images to enlarge
rosette of lower leaves (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
close-up of prickly leaves (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
upper leaves, winged stems and flower-heads (Photo: Jackies Miles)
close-up of young flower-head with broad spines (Photo: Jackies Miles)
close-up of seeds without hairs (Photo: Steve Hurst at USDA PLANTS Database)
Onopordum illyricum L. subsp. illyricum
Onopordon illyricum L.Onopordum illyricum L.
Asteraceae (Queensland, New South Wales, the ACT, Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia and the Northern Territory)Compositae (South Australia)
cotton thistle, Illyrian cottonthistle, Illyrian thistle
Native to southern Europe (i.e. France, Portugal, Spain, Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy and Yugoslavia) and western Asia (i.e. Cyprus, Syria and Turkey).
Widely naturalised in south-eastern Australia, particularly in sub-coastal regions. It is most common in the sub-coastal regions of eastern New South Wales, south from the Quirindi area. Also present in Victoria, the ACT, and in some southern parts of South Australia.
Naturalised overseas in south-western USA (i.e. California).
While Illyrian thistle (Onopordum illyricum subsp. illyricum) is mainly a weed of agricultural areas, it is also listed as a priority environmental weed in at least one Natural Resource Management region. This species was probably introduced into Australia as a garden ornamental in the early 1800's. It quickly escaped cultivation and is now a widespread weed of pastures, roadsides, disturbed sites and wastelands.
Illyrian thistle (Onopordum illyricum subsp. illyricum) is particularly prominent in pastures in the temperate tableland regions in south-eastern Australia. It is a strong competitor and is able to establish in grassland communities, particularly those that are disturbed by heavy grazing. In native pastures, the broad flat rosettes of this species smother surrounding plants, and in over-grazed areas its can form dense stands which replace all other vegetation.
Fact sheets are available from Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) service centres and our Customer Service Centre (telephone 13 25 23). Check our website at www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au to ensure you have the latest version of this fact sheet. The control methods referred to in this fact sheet should be used in accordance with the restrictions (federal and state legislation, and local government laws) directly or indirectly related to each control method. These restrictions may prevent the use of one or more of the methods referred to, depending on individual circumstances. While every care is taken to ensure the accuracy of this information, DEEDI does not invite reliance upon it, nor accept responsibility for any loss or damage caused by actions based on it.
Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved. Identic Pty Ltd. Special edition of Environmental Weeds of Australia for Biosecurity Queensland.
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