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Overview

Distribution

Distribution in Egypt

Nile and Mediterranean regions.

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Global Distribution

Mediterranean region, western and central Europe, southern Russia, Caucasus, Arabia, Iraq, Iran, extending to central Asia.

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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Carthamus lanatus L.:
Chile (South America)
Russian Federation (Asia)
United States (North America)
South Africa (Africa & Madagascar)
China (Asia)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Plants 40–180 cm, herbag. ± densely glandular, loosely cobwebby to ± woolly. Stems rigidly erect, openly branched distally, stramineous. Leaves basal and cauline; basal often absent at anthesis, petioles winged, blades 10–15 cm, margins pinnately 1–2-divided into linear or lanceolate spine-tipped lobes; cauline spreading or recurved, lanceolate to ovate, rigid, clasping, 3–7-veined from base, margins with narrow spine-tipped lobes, spinose-acuminate. Involucres ovoid, body 25–35 mm, usually ± tomentose. Outer phyllaries ascending or ± spreading, 35–50 mm, usually not more than 1.5 times as long as inner, terminal appendages spreading to ascending, linear-lanceolate, spiny lobed, prominently spine-tipped. Corollas yellow, sometimes red- or black-veined, 25–35 mm, throats gradually expanded; anthers yellow; pollen yellow. Cypselae brown, 4–6 mm, the outer roughened; pappus scales 1–13 mm. 2n = 44.
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Ecology

Habitat

Waste ground, roadsides, edges of cultivation.

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Associations

Foodplant / internal feeder
larva of Acanthiophilus helianthi feeds within capitulum of Carthamus lanatus

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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Annual.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Carthamus lanatus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Carthamus lanatus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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Wikipedia

Carthamus lanatus

Carthamus lanatus is a species of thistle known as woolly distaff thistle or saffron thistle. It is closely related to safflower, which is in the same genus. This annual plant is a native of the Mediterranean Basin, but it is familiar in other places where it was introduced and has become a noxious weed, such as in parts of North America and southern Australia [1] with similar climates. This is a spiny, glandular, woolly plant, which often looks like it is covered in spiderweb due to its fine tangled fibers. It has a pale stem which may reach a meter in height, and rigid, pointed, very spiny leaves. The flower head has many long, sharp phyllaries that can be up to several centimeters long, and often bend backwards (recurved). The disc florets are bright yellow. One plant can produce many stems which mat together due to their spininess and form a small thicket. The fruit is an achene about half a centimeter long with many rigid pappus scales.

Detrimental[edit]

In Australia the plant is commonly regarded as a pasture weed because: it competes with desired plants such as pasture or crops, seeds and bracts become embedded in wool which results in lower returns to farmers, and because dense infestations restrict stock access and are difficult to walk through. Interestingly it is generally not considered a weed in much of Europe.[2]

Population biology[edit]

Seed germination is stimulated by red light.[3] This means that germination is most likely in areas with little vegetation or pasture cover, e.g. when an area has been overgrazed. Seeds also require specific temperature cues and water, which means that most seeds germinate in Autumn (Fall). There are more C. lanatus seeds in the soil in Australian pastures than in similar French pastures, probably because there are more seed predators capable of removing seeds of this size in France than in Australia.[2] Many C. lanatus seeds are dormant (will not germinate, even in ideal conditions), and seedbanks decrease by approximately 70-74% per year if no seed is added.[4]

Weed management[edit]

This plant can be controlled using a range of herbicides.[5] Several biological control options have been investigated for Australia, including classical biological control, although finding an insect or fungus that will not also attach safflower has proven difficult. A rosette-feeding fly Botanophila turcica shows some promise.[6] The potential for using pathogens already present in Australia has also been investigated.[7]

In pastures, good pasture cover in Autumn will reduce germination,[8] suggesting that pastures should be managed to reduce grazing pressure over summer increase the cover from summer-growing perennial grasses. Population models suggest that strategic grazing may be one of the most effective long-term control option for infested pastures.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Parsons & Cuthbertson 1992. Noxious Weeds of Australia. Inkata, Melbourne
  2. ^ a b Grace et al. 2002. Proceedings 13th Australian Weeds Conference, pp 529-532
  3. ^ Wright et al. 1980. Australian Journal of Plant Physiology 7: 587-594
  4. ^ Grace et al. 2002. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 53:1327-1334
  5. ^ Peirce JR 1995. Carthamus lanatus In: Biology of Australian Weeds, RG&FJ Richardson pubs, Melbourne
  6. ^ Sheppard & Vitou 2000 Acta Oecologia 21(6):1-11
  7. ^ Crump et al. 1996. Australasian Plant Pathology 25:143
  8. ^ Grace et al. 2002. The Rangeland Journal 24:313-325
  9. ^ Grace 2001. PhD Thesis, University of New England, Australia
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Notes

Comments

Native to the Mediterranean region, Carthamus lanatus is a viciously spiny noxious weed, sometimes forming nearly impenetrable stands. In rangelands it is known to injure the eyes and mouths of livestock, and it tends to spread when more palatable plants are consumed. Because of the close relationship between the cultivated safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) and its weedy relatives, biocontrol has not been an option for controlling weedy species such as C. lanatus.
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