Sp. Pl. 2: 821 (1753) APNI
Biennial to 1 m high; stems with discontinuous wings to c. 5 mm wide, cut into spinose lobes, cobwebbed. Basal leaves in a rosette, lanceolate to oblanceolate in outline, 5–25 cm long, 2–10 cm wide, deeply pinnatisect, pubescent, concolorous, grey-green, margins spiny; cauline leaves similar but smaller, stem-clasping. Inflorescence of several capitula in terminal panicles; capitula hemispherical, nodding or erect, 2–5 cm diam.; peduncles 10–20 mm long, terete; involucral bracts lanceolate, to 30 mm long; outer bracts slightly spreading, green; intermediate bracts erect, purplish. Corolla 18–22 mm long, purple. Cypselas 4–5 mm long; pappus bristles unequal,15–20 mm long. Flowers spring and summer.
Also naturalised WA, NSW, ACT, Tas. Native to Europe, Asia and northern Africa. In Victoria so far recorded from a few scattered localities in the east and Wyperfeld National Park and near Hamilton in the west, but potentially troublesome in pasture land and declared a noxious weed in the State.