Yellow starthistle originated from Northern Spain. It is a winter annual that is blue-green in color, has a vigorous taproot, and produces bright yellow flowers with sharp, stiff spines surrounding the base of the flower that extends up to ¾ of an inch long. Yellow starthistle grows from 1 inch tall to 4 feet tall. Basal leaves are 1-3 inches long and deeply lobed while upper leaves are smaller and narrower. Stems appear winged and both stem and leaves have a slight whitish nap covering them. Yellow starthistle spreads by seed with a single large plant producing up to 100,000 seeds. Plumed and plumeless seeds disperse at different times.