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This plant is a biennial herb producing an erect, branching, winged, spiny stem known to exceed two meters in maximum height. The sessile, green-whitish spiny leaves may be up to 55 centimeters long and 15 cm wide and are divided into deep toothed lobes. The inflorescence bears several large flower heads each up to 6 centimeters wide. They are lined with spiny, woolly to cobwebby phyllaries and bear many narrow glandular purple flowers each about 3 centimeters long. The fruit is a cylindrical achene 4 or 5 millimeters long topped with a white pappus a centimeter in length.
It is native to southestern Europe. Spotted at open Holm oak forest