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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Yellow starthistle continues its spread in California

  • Author(s): Pitcairn, Michael J.;
  • Schoenig, Steve;
  • Yacoub, Rosie;
  • Gendron, John
  • et al.

Yellow starthistle is an exotic invasive weed that is estimated to infest over 14 million acres in California and is considered the most common exotic weed statewide. We reviewed several previous studies and conducted a township survey to provide an up-to-date analysis of the weed’s rapid spread throughout the state. A county-by-county comparison between 1985 and 2002 showed increases in yellow starthistle in all regions of the state except for northeast California and the southeast desert region. Currently, most infestations occur in Northern California, but future invasions and spread will likely occur in the coastal counties of Southern California.

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