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Purple Star Thistle

Scientific Name

Centaurea calcitrapa L. (ITIS)

Common Name

Purple star thistle, red star thistle, common star thistle

Native To

Mediterranean Region (Pitcairn et al. 2002)

Date of U.S. Introduction

First discovered in the late 1800s (Pitcairn et al. 2002)

Means of Introduction

Accidental (Pitcairn et al. 2002)


Crowds out desirable forage species on rangelands (Pitcairn et al. 2002)

Purple star thistle
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Purple starthistle, flower


Photo by Malcolm Storey; BioImages, Virtual Field-Guide (UK)

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Distribution / Maps / Survey Status


Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source.

Council or Task Force
Federal Government
State and Local Government