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Content tagged with "thistle"

Photo of a cornflower, closeup of a flowerhead.

Cornflower (Bachelor’s Button; Blue Bottle)

Centaurea cyanus
A native of Europe, cornflower is a popular garden flower that often escapes to nearby areas. It’s used in bridal bouquets and men’s boutonnieres. Its intense blue color appears in boxes of crayons!

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Photo of a cluster of blooming cornflower plants.

Cornflower (Bachelor’s Button; Blue Bottle)

A native of Europe, cornflower is a popular garden flower that often escapes to nearby areas. It’s used in bridal bouquets and men’s boutonnieres. Its intense blue color appears in boxes of crayons!

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Photo of cut-leaved teasel showing flowerhead and joined, cuplike leaves.

Cut-Leaved Teasel

Cut-leaved teasel is more aggressive than common teasel. Note its flowerheads with white flowers, and the cuplike structure created by the opposite leaves as they fuse around the stem.

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Photo of cut-leaved teasel plants showing white flowering heads.

Cut-Leaved Teasel

Currently, invasive teasels in our state occur mainly along highways, but these aggressive weeds can outcompete native plants, especially in prairies and savannas. Their spines protect them from being eaten by most herbivores, so it’s up to humans to check their spread.

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Photo of cut-leaved teasel, blooming flowerhead, showing white flowers.

Cut-Leaved Teasel (Flowerheads)

Cut-leaved teasel typically has white flowers. It was first recorded in our state in 1968, when it apparently had sprouted from seeds spread from a cemetery wreath to a nearby fencerow. But there have undoubtedly been numerous introductions since then. It is robust, aggressive, and is spreading rapidly along highways and other open habitats.

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Photo of cut-leaved teasel showing deeply pinnately lobed leaves.

Cut-Leaved Teasel (Leaves)

The deeply cut, pinnately lobed stem leaves explain the name of cut-leaved teasel.

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Photo of musk thistle showing fuzzy purple flowers on tall, prickly stems

Musk Thistle (Nodding Thistle)

An invasive native of Eurasia that is spreading in Missouri, musk thistle is a plant you should know. Learn how to tell the difference between our native thistles and these bad guys. Our native thistles have strongly whitened undersides to the leaves, whereas this thistle (like other exotic thistles) has both sides of the leaves the same color.

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Photo of musk thistle flowerheads showing purplish florets and nodding habit

Musk Thistle (Nodding Thistle)

Carduus nutans
An invasive native of Eurasia that is spreading in Missouri, musk thistle is a plant you should know. Learn how to tell the difference between our native thistles and these bad guys.

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Photo of musk thistle buds showing spiny bracts under flowerheads

Musk Thistle (Nodding Thistle) (Buds)

Musk thistle is a large, spiny biennial with rose-purple flower heads. The upright flowering stalk has very spiny leaves, and the stems are commonly winged with spiny leaf tissue. At the base of each flower head are numerous, spine-tipped bracts, 1/8 to 3/8 inch wide, that curve away from the heads.

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Photo of spotted knapweed flower head showing spots on involucral bracts

Spotted Knapweed

Centaurea stoebe
Spotted knapweed is an invasive plant that outcompetes native communities, takes over pastureland, and even beats back invasive sericea lespedeza! It has arrived in our state. Let’s prevent its spread.

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