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You are here: Home / Plants / Species Profiles / Yellow Star Thistle
Species Profiles

Yellow Star Thistle

Yellow Star ThistleScientific name: Centaurea solstitialis L. (ITIS)

Common names: Yellow star thistle, geeldissel, golden star thistle, St. Barnaby's thistle, yellow centaury, yellow cockspur

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Selected Resources

Native To: Eurasia (Zouhar 2002)

Date of U.S. Introduction: 1800s (Zouhar 2002)

Means of Introduction: Accidentally through contaminated seed (Zouhar 2002)

Impacts: Crowds out native species; toxic to horses (Zouhar 2002)

Current U.S. Distribution:


Selected Resources:

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Invasive Plants of California's Wildlands - Centaurea solstitialis
California Invasive Plant Council.
Bossard, C.C., J.M. Randall, and M.C. Hoshovsky (Editors). 2000. Invasive Plants of California's Wildlands. University of California Press. Berkeley, CA

Fact Sheet: Yellow Starthistle (Jan 2014; PDF | 255 KB)
Alberta Invasive Plants Council (Canada).


Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States - Yellow Starthistle
University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

Texas Invasives Database - Centaurea solstitialis

Invasive Species Compendium - Centaurea solstitialis
CAB International.

Global Invasive Species Database - Centaurea solstitialis (herb)
World Conservation Union. Invasive Species Specialist Group.


Centaurea solstitialis L. (Yellow Starthistle/Barnaby's Thistle) - Noxious and Nuisance Plant Management Information System (PMIS)
DOD. USACE. Engineer Research and Development Center. Environmental Laboratory.

Yellow Starthistle, Centaurea solstitialis: There’s A Fungus Amongus! (PDF | 102 KB)
USDA. Agricultural Research Service.

Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) - Centaurea solstitialis
USDA. ARS. National Genetic Resources Program.

Biology and Biological Control of Yellow Starthistle (Jul 2003, 2nd Ed; PDF | 1.6 MB)
USDA. FS. Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team.

Fire Effects Information System (FEIS) - Centaurea solstitialis
USDA. FS. Rocky Mountain Research Station. Fire Sciences Laboratory.

PLANTS Database - Yellow Star-thistle
USDA. NRCS. National Plant Data Center.

Guide to Weeds in British Columbia - Yellow Starthistle
British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture Food and Fisheries (Canada).


EncycloWeedia: Data Sheet - Centaurea genus
California Department of Food and Agriculture.
Included on California's noxious weed list; see Encycloweedia: Program Details for additional resources.

Yellow Starthistle (PDF | 235 KB)
State of California. Plumas County. Plumas-Sierra Noxious Weeds Management Group.

Yellow Starthistle Identification and Management (Jan 2009; PDF | 1.26 MB)
Colorado Department of Agriculture. Conservation Services Division.

Yellow Star Thistle
Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

Class B Noxious Weed: Yellow Starthistle
Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board.


Pest Notes: Yellow Starthistle
University of California. Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program.
Pest Notes are peer-reviewed scientific publications about specific pests or pest management topics, directed at California's home and landscape audiences.

Yellow Starthistle: Identification, Biology and Integrated Management (Jan 2011; PDF | 554 KB)
Montana State University. Extension.

Invasive Weeds in Forest Land: Yellow Starthistle (Sep 2008; PDF | 504 KB)
Oregon State University. Extension Service.
See also: Yellow Starthistle: Ecology and Management on Pacific Northwest Rangelands (Jan 2008; PDF | 644 KB)


Yellow Starthistle
Colorado Weed Management Association.

Weed Identification - Yellow Starthistle
Montana Weed Control Association.

Yellow Star Thistle
Plant Conservation Alliance. Alien Plant Working Group.


Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Centaurea solstitialis. [Accessed Sep 10, 2014].

Zouhar, K. 2002. Centaurea solstitialis. In: Fire Effects Information System. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory.

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Last Modified: Oct 01, 2015
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