Plant Form Biennial erect herb to 1.5 m tall with interrupted, spiny wings along stems. Leaves toothed to lobed, with spiny margins, to 30 cm long, decurrent onto stem, green above and white below. Flowerheads purple, 12-40 mm diam., with spreading to recurved spines. Fruits 3-6 mm long, light brown, smooth, with pappus (parachuting hairs) 2-3 cm long. Distinguishing Features Flowerheads wide, solitary or in small clusters versus narrowly cylindric and in rich corymbs in Cirsium arvense.