Exotic Species Identification




Learn to identify exotic thistles. The identification key provided here will allow you to determine if an unknown thistle is exotic or native. The thistle identification key is a series of paired statements that describe thistles that occur commonly in Nebraska. At each step, you must look closely at your thistle’s characteristics to see which of the two statements is true of the plant you are trying to identify. Click on the statement that most closely describes your specimen to see the next pair of choices. If neither of the choices seem to fit, use your browser’s "Back" button to check your previous choices. Continue until you arrive at the name of a single thistle species.

Begin thistle identification key  (Print this hand-in page)

I'm not sure if I really have a thistle