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Has lobed leaves with sword-shaped sections, and spines at the tips. This thistle doesn't have the milky striping, and its leaves are hairier than Italian or milk thistle. It has spiny-winged stems, and its flowers are classic onion-shaped thistle flowers. This plant often grows as a biennial.
Spotted growing in a meadow next to a tree line.
Bull thistle is a widespread biennial thistle originally from Europe and Asia, but now introduced throughout North America. Although it is intimidating in appearance and can sometimes form large infestations, this thistle is not as challenging to control as many others and is mainly a problem in hay fields and pastures. Bull thistle is also commonly found along trails, roads and vacant fields.