Plumeless thistle is a biennial forb, which originated in Eurasia. This noxious thistle grows 3-4 feet tall, with purple flowers that bloom from June to August in Nebraska. Spiny-winged leaves, just beneath the head of a plumeless thistle plant, is a characteristic separating it from the similar musk thistle. Another distinguishing characteristic of plumeless thistle is the deeply serrated leaves.
Plumeless thistle reproduces only by seed, therefore preventing a plant or patch from going to seed will control this invasive weed. Plumeless thistle produces a rosette, or circle of leaves on the ground the first season. The second season the plant will bolt, bloom, and produce seed.
In Nebraska, plumeless thistle grows in pastures, rangeland, and other non-cropped areas. The EC-130 Guide for Weed Management in Nebraska can be referenced for herbicide recommendations to control plumeless thistle.