(Centaurea solstitialis L.)

GROWTH HABIT:  Rigid branching, annual, 2 to 3 feet tall.

LEAVES:  Basal leaves are deeply lobed while upper leaves are entire and sharply pointed.

STEMS:  Winged stems covered with a cottony pubescence.

FLOWER:  Yellow, located singly on ends of branches, and armed with sharp straw-colored thorns up to 3/4 inch long.


SEEDS:  Fruits from ray flowers are dark-colored without bristles, while fruits from disk flowers are lighter and have a tuft of white bristles.

OTHER:  Introduced from Europe, grows on various soil types and is usually introduced on roadsides and waste areas.  "Chewing disease" results when horses are forced to eat the yellow starthistle.

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