Growth Habit: biennial that grows up to 12 feet.
Leaves: large, spiny, and covered with fine dense hair
Stem: broad, spiny wings
Flower: Flower heads are numerous, 1 to 2 inches in diameter, bracts spine-tipped. Flowers are Violet to reddish.
Habitat: Native of Europe and eastern Asia and is now sparsely naturalized over much of North America.