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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)

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

Current U.S. Distribution:


Selected Resources:

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Council or Task Force

Invasive Plants of California's Wildlands - Centaurea solstitialis
California Invasive Plant Council.
In online book: 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 Species Council (Canada).
See also: Fact Sheets for more information about individual invasive species, including those listed as "Prohibited Noxious" and "Noxious" under the Alberta Weed Control Act

Stop the Invasion: Yellow Starthistle (Jun 2016; PDF | 548 KB)
Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. Washington Invasive Species Council.
See also: Outreach and Educational Materials - Invasive Species Fact Sheets for more resources


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)
IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.

Federal Government

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

U.S. National Plant Germplasm System - Centaurea solstitialis
USDA. ARS. National Genetic Resources Program. GRIN-Global.

Biology and Biological Control of Yellow Starthistle - FHTET-2016-08 (Jun 2017, 4th Ed; PDF | 17.5 MB)
USDA. FS. Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team.
See also: FHTET Publications for more resources

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.

International Government

Weeds in Australia - St Barnaby's Thistle (Centaurea solstitialis)
Australian Government. Department of the Environment and Energy.

State Government

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

Agricultural Brochure - Yellow Starthistle (PDF | 235 KB)
Plumas-Sierra Noxious Weeds Management Group (California).
See also: Agricultural Brochures for more species

Noxious Weed Species - Yellow Starthistle
Colorado Department of Agriculture. Conservation Services Division. Noxious Weed Program.

Minnesota Noxious Weeds - 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.
See also: Pest Notes are peer-reviewed scientific publications about specific pests or pest management topics, directed at California's home and landscape audiences.

MontGuide - Yellow Starthistle: Identification, Biology and Integrated Management (2017)
Montana State University Extension.

Yellow Starthistle: Ecology and Management on Pacific Northwest Rangelands (Jan 2008)
Oregon State University. Extension Service.


Noxious Weed Information - Yellow Starthistle
Colorado Weed Management Association.

Weed Identification - Yellow Starthistle
Montana Weed Control Association.


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: Aug 25, 2018
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