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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Biosecurity duty

The content provided here is for information purposes only and is taken from the Biosecurity Act 2015 and its subordinate legislation, and the Regional Strategic Weed Management Plans (published by each Local Land Services region in NSW). It describes the state and regional priorities for weeds in New South Wales, Australia.

Area Duty
All of NSW General Biosecurity Duty
All plants are regulated with a general biosecurity duty to prevent, eliminate or minimise any biosecurity risk they may pose. Any person who deals with any plant, who knows (or ought to know) of any biosecurity risk, has a duty to ensure the risk is prevented, eliminated or minimised, so far as is reasonably practicable.

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Reviewed 2014