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.
  • Spreads naturally by wind and animals

Consequences of invasion

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

Status in the CKISS region

  • It has only been found in the Nakusp Invasive Plant Management Area. Efforts are being made to eradicate this species within these locations and to prevent further spread to new areas.
  • Please report any findings of this species immediately.
  • 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