Russian Thistle is a spiny, annual plant that is reproduced by seed. The plant is quite bushy measuring 0.3 - 1 meter in height. The stem is sometimes has reddish stripes. Leaves have sharp points that are flattened on the upper side. The measure 2.5 - 5 cm long. The small flowers are green or pink in color located in the leaf axis. Seeds are top-shaped and grey in color.
The seeds have a very short viability period. Thus preventing the production of seeds for one year will significantly reduce populations and in the following year it will nearly eradicate populations. Summerfallow or short-term perennial forage production are excellent ways to control the Russian Thistle. There is also a wide range of herbicides available to control the spread.