Overview of thistle management in Australia

B.M. Sindel, Department of Agronomy and Soil Science, Co-operative Research Centre for Weed Management Systems, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales 2351, Australia.


Thistles have a high profile in the weed flora of Australia and are of particular concern to graziers in the temperate southern regions where they are often the dominant weeds of improved pastures. While thistles have morphological similarities and are closely linked taxonomically, they are nevertheless ecologically diverse, both between species and within species. Consequently, some management practices, e.g. biological control, may need to be aimed at specific ecotypic groups, while other management practices, e.g. pasture competition, may be able to be applied more unilaterally. This paper overviews the presentations made at the Thistle Management Workshop and synthesizes them into three broad categories—ecology/biology, management tactics, and farmer attitudes and constraints on control—and examines what is currently known about thistles, what is not known about them and where should research be aimed to yield results which will be of most practical use to thistle management in Australia.


Plant Protection Quarterly (1996) 11 (Supplement 2) 285-289.