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Plant Form Erect annual or biennial rosette herb. Size 90 cm to 3 m tall. Stem Stout, hollow or filled with pith, ribbed, sometimes cottony. Leaves Shiny green with white veins and blotches (variegations) above, underneath hairy and paler, spiny on margins and over veins. Larger in rosette and more deeply lobed on stem. Flowers Large 3-5 cm, spiny, and at the end of long stalks, consist of numerous pink-purple tubular florets forming a head. Fruit and Seeds Seeds are 5-8 mm long, flattened and shiny blackish with longer barbed bristles. Habitat Pastures, roadsides, disturbed areas, woodlands. Distinguishing Features Unlikely to be confused due to variegated leaves and general shape. Impacts Outcompetes pasture and native species, contaminates fodder, can cause stock poisoning in high doses.