A very spiny herb to 1.5 m. The stems have thin wings lined with sharp spines. The leaves are toothed or lobed with spines at the tips of the teeth or lobes. The small purple florets are clustered in a dense sphere surrounded by spiny bracts. The flowerheads are 2-5 cm in diameter.
A very prickly introduced plant with a distinctive purple flower head.
Annual or biennial. This species is a very common environmental weed found in pasture, along roadsides and in wasteland. It occurs in many different vegetation types, generally on more fertile soil. It can be controlled by weeding and spraying with herbicides. Slashing prior to seed formation prevents seeding.
Tracheophyta (Vascular Plants)
Magnoliopsida (Flowering Plants)
Source: Atlas of Living Australia