Plant Form Perennial herb to 100 cm tall, spreading with rhizomes; stems wingless, erect. Leaves dark green above, white below, spiny, lobed, 10-70 mm long. Flowerheads purple, narrow, 8-15 mm diam.; involucral bracts in several series, with short spines at tips. Fruits ca. 3 mm long, smooth, with pappus (parachuting hairs) 20-25 mm long. Distinguishing Features Flowerheads narrowly cylindric and in rich corymbs versus wide, solitary or in small clusters in Cirsium vulgare.