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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

Malta Starthistle Continues to be Found on San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge

Region 2, April 27, 2012
Malta Starthistle
Malta Starthistle - Photo Credit: n/a

Malta starthistle (Centaurea melitensis) was once again found on the refuge near Twin pond. This is the second time since 2005 that Malta starthistle has been found, 2010 was the last time it was documented and removed. In 2010, 83 plants were removed and this year 62 plants were found and removed. Native to Eurasia, Malta starthistle establishes most successfully in dry, sunny areas like roadsides, rangelands, agricultural fields, pastures, and waste areas generally below 3,900 feet. Malta starthistle is common on portions of Rancho San Bernardino adjacent to SBNWR, and is common on roadsides in Cochise county following winters with high precipitation. Until recently, only a handful of plants had been found on SBNWR adjacent to Twin Pond. It is important that the species does not spread into areas of disturbance on the refuge, such as roads, sites of new construction, and former agricultural plots.

Contact Info: Christopher Lohrengel, 520-364-2104 x.106, chris_lohrengel@fws.gov