Carduus acanthoides L.

Plumeless Thistle

Sp. Pl. 2: 821 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Sparingly established

Biennial or perennial to 1 m high; stems with discontinuous wings, wings dissected into spinose lobes to c. 5 mm wide, cobwebbed. Basal leaves in a rosette, elliptic to oblanceolate in outline, 6–29 cm long, 2–7 cm wide, pinnatisect, with occasional flattened hairs, concolorous, green, margins spiny; cauline leaves similar but smaller and occasionally undivided. Inflorescence of 1–3 capitula in terminal clusters; capitula cylindric, erect to patent, 1–2 cm diam., sessile; involucral bracts linear-lanceolate, to 15 mm long, erect or spreading, cobwebbed, intermediate involucral bracts glabrous or very sparsely hairy, margins of intermediate bracts scabrous; inner bracts shorter than outer florets. Corolla 10–17 mm long, purple. Cypselas 3–4 mm long; pappus bristles, subequal, 10–15 mm long. Flowers Nov.–Apr.

*NIS. Native to northern Africa (Egypt), and Eurasia. Known in Australia from one population on a roadside and adjoining dairy pasture at Biggara. The population is reputed to have been established for over ten years but despite this duration of time does not appear to be spreading from this location.

Created by: Daniel Ohlsen, 2015-07-24
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-01-08
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Asteranae
order Asterales
family Asteraceae
genus Carduus
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Carduus acanthoides in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Carduus acanthoides in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Northern Inland Slopes present introduced

State distribution

Distribution map