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Re: CULT: toxic Canada thistles?

  • Subject: Re: CULT: toxic Canada thistles?
  • From: neilm@charter.net
  • Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2001 10:36:43 -0000

> I am still curious about whether anyone else has noticed the 
apparently toxic effect Canada thistles have on bearded irises.  

Although we don't have Canada Thistle here in western NC, I sure am 
familiar with it.  We fought it valiantly in Idaho.  I know what you 
mean about aggressive.

The question about toxic, tho, hmmmm...Come to think of it I don't 
ever remember ANYTHING growing in with this particular species of 
thistle.  Other thistles coexist quite happily with grass, broadleafs 
and iris too, but not Canadas.  I guess I always assumed it was 
because of competition and aggressive nutrient hogging.  Your 
speculation on toxic effects is suggestive.

Before the days of Roundup, the best solution was to dig, remove the 
iris, replant elsewhere (VERY carefully making sure no thistle got 
transplanted too), then cultivating, and using 2,4-D or 2,4,5-T 
(brush killer) on the emerging sprouts.  It took forever to kill out 
a patch.

Perennial Morning Glory wasn't much fun either...and equally hard to 

Your idea of using a paint brush or sponge brush is excellent.

Neil Mogensen  z 6b/7a near Asheville

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