Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare) is an invasive species found abundantly throughout the Sea to Sky region. Introduced from Eurasia as a seed contaminant, Bull Thistle is an aggressive weed that can outcompete native plants and form a monoculture. It can reduce biodiversity, decrease forage value (when harvested with hay), can overrun clear-cuts, and restrict access to recreational sites.
Bull Thistles look very similar to native thistles, but are pricklier – when running your hands over the leaves of native thistles, they can actually feel soft.
The Bull Thistle is under strategic control (species widespread, control measures taken in high priority areas) in the Sea to Sky corridor. Control is possible by hand pulling small infestations or mowing close to the surface several times a year. Plants cut prior to flowering can be left aside to decompose; if they are cut post flowering, bag, seal and dispose the waste with the regular garbage, at the landfill or transfer station.
To help us understand this species distribution in the region, please report any sightings on our site.