Learn more about Musk Thistle. Recommended Practices in Natural Communities of High Quality. Cultural, mechanical, biological and chemical control methods have all been used on musk thistles with varying degrees of success in different parts of the country. Cultural and Mechanical Methods. Musk thistle favors abandoned fields and overgrazed pastures.
Onopordum acanthium (cotton thistle, Scotch thistle) is a flowering plant in the family Asteraceae. It is native to Europe and Western Asia from the Iberian Peninsula east to Kazakhstan, and north to central Scandinavia, and widely naturalised elsewhere.
The perennial sow thistle (Sonchus arvensis) is often confused with the annual sow thistle (Sonchus oleraceus). The main difference between the two is that the annual sow thistle has much smaller flowers (less than 2.5 cm across) than the perennial sow thistle. Perennial sow thistle flowers are larger and resemble the dandelion.
Popular modern usage favours cotton thistle (Onopordum acanthium), perhaps because of its more imposing appearance, though it is unlikely to have occurred in Scotland in medieval times; the spear thistle (Cirsium vulgare), an abundant native species in Scotland, is a more likely candidate.