Marsh plume thistle (Cirsium palustre)

Marsh plume thistle

Cirsium palustre


  • Purple flowers grow on the end of the single, often unbranched stem
  • Stems and leaves are spiny and hairy
  • Spiny wings are present along the stem

Introduction and spread

  • First observed in 1910 in Newfoundland, now has limited distribution in BC
  • Transported by vehicles, machinery and humans.
  • Naturally by wind and animals

Consequences of invasion

  • Invades moist to wet areas
  • An agressive competitor against tree seedlings and native vegetation
  • Reduces biodiversity in wet meadow and riparian ecosystems

Status in the CKISS region

  • Marsh plume thistle is classified as Regional EDRR on the CKISS Annual Priority List.
  • It has been found a few locations in the Nakusp Invasive Plant Management Area, and efforts are being made to eradicate the plant on these sites and prevent the spread to new areas.
  • To learn more about how CKISS classifies and manages invasive species, see our Invasive Species Priority Lists page.

Integrated pest management options


  • Minimize soil disturbances and occupy disturbed spaces by becoming PlantWise and planting non-invasive vegetation instead
  • Clean equipment before leaving an infested area


  • Pull, mow or dig plants before flowers are present.
  • If flowers are present, manual treatment is still effective but the seed heads must be carefully bagged and properly disposed of at your local landfill.

Additional resources