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Russian Thistle (Salsola tragus)

Crop Impacts: Yield crops

Russian Thistle 1

About Russian Thistle:

Russian Thistle is an annual weed that reproduces via seed only. Russian Thistle has stems that are green with red stripes and have a hairy texture to them. Russian thistle weeds have thin, long leaves that are also known as seed leaves; they have even been known to reach 2 inches in length. Russian Thistle weeds can produce as many as 200,000 seeds per plant. This weed prefers harsher soils and has been known to grow throughout Ontario. It occurs along roadsides, waste areas, in pastures, and fields.

Family: Goosefoot Family (Chenopodiaceae)

Russian Thistle 2

Russian Thistle Scouting and Prevention:

Crop checks can help determine if Russian Thistle weeds are moving into your fields. By doing these checks, it will become very obvious as to whether or not the weed is present, as you will be aware of what healthy, weedless crops look like once you start doing random checks on a regular basis. Mowing has also been known to be effective when trying to prevent Russian Thistle from moving into fields.

Russian Thistle Control:

Mowing, cultivation, and tillage have been known to be effective ways to control Russian Thistle from damaging surrounding fields. Herbicides are available that are effective against Russian Thistle. Pre and post season applications of these herbicides can also help control this weed.

Latin / Alternative Russian Thistle Names:

  • - Salsola pestifer A. Nels
  • - Soude roulante
  • - Saltwort, Tumbleweed
  • - Chardon de Russie
  • - Herbe roulante de Russie
  • - Salsosa iberica Sennen & Pau. S. Kali L. var. tenuifolia Tausch
  • - S. tragus L. subsp. iberica Sennen & Pau

Additional Russian thistle Resources: Dupont Weed Wrecking Crew Dupont Precision Pac Ontario Government Ag Manitoba Government Ag