Golden thistle (Scolymus hispanicus)



Golden thistle occurs as a weed of pastures and is rarely eaten by livestock due to its spiny nature and because dense infestations are almost impenetrable.

Golden thistle is native to Mediterranean regions.


Seeds can be spread by wind, or on broken plants stuck to fibres or moving in water. New plants can also grow from root fragments which can be spread in fodder and on machinery.


Golden thistle is a biennial or perennial thistle up to 80 centimetres high, spiny and sometimes hairy.

This species is different to spotted thistle (also known as spotted golden thistle, Scolymus maculatus) which is a common weed of pastures and cleared areas.

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Herbicide options

Contact your local council weeds officer for control advice for Golden thistle (Scolymus hispanicus).

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Legal requirements

The content provided here is for information purposes only and is taken from the Noxious Weeds (Weed Control) Order 2014 published in the NSW Government Gazette, detailing weeds declared noxious in New South Wales, Australia, under the Noxious Weeds Act 1993. The Order lists the weed names, the control class and the control requirements for each species declared in a Local Control Authority area.

Area Class Legal requirements
All of NSW 5 Restricted Plant
The requirements in the Noxious Weeds Act 1993 for a notifiable weed must be complied with

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For technical advice and assistance with identification please contact your local council weeds officer.
For further information call the NSW Invasive Plants and Animals Enquiry Line on 1800 680 244 or send an email to

Reviewed 2014