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Buffalo bur
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(Solanum rostratum Dunal)


Kansas thistle, Texas thistle, Mexican thistle, Colorado bur


Buffalobur is deceptively attractive. It has cheery yellow flowers and ornately-lobed dark green leaves.

If you look a little bit closer, Buffalobur’s innately evil nature becomes apparent. Long, sharp thorns cover the stems and surround the flowers and even line the veins of the attractive leaves. The yellow flowers are followed by wickedly spiny burrs that can become scattered about and are quite painful to step on. The stout spines are not merely sharp; these spines are also covered with a substance that can cause intense, lingering pain in anyone stabbed by them. Buffalobur is an annual that can grow up to 2 feet high. The oblong leaves are 2-3 inches long with deep rounded lobes and are covered with a very dense, stiff, and sharp spines. The bright yellow flowers can be seen in summer. In the fall the burs, grow up to 3/8 inch in diameter and enclosed in the dried flower parts with black, wrinkled, flat pitted seeds.


Buffalobur has long, yellow spines on the stems, leaves and flower heads. The leaves are 2 to 5 inches long with deep lobes and are also covered in spines. The yellow flowers are 5 lobed and are around 1 inch wide.


Buffalobur will grow in overgrazed pastures, rangeland, corrals, feedlots, right-of-ways and waste areas.


Herbicides that control Buffalobur are Banvel and 2, 4-D, and Tordon. For more information and mixing instructions on herbicides read the labels or contact the SCWP office.

Chopping and burning during the early flowers stage can be effective.


Buffalobur can poison cattle and render a pasture unusable unless control measures are taken. The prickles of this highly toxic plant help to discourage grazing by livestock. Buffalobur contains the steroidal glycoalkaloids that causes gastrointestinal effects, neurological problems, death and possible birth defects in cattle.