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Spear thistle (aka black, bull, and scotch thistle) is a non-indigenous plant in Australia and is classified as a noxious weed. These plants look completely dead, but the seedheads have split and the pappus are ready to go airborne. A previous spotting which shows flowers and seedhead - https://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/17... This is a truly anti-social plant. Those needles are sharp!
New England District of the Northern Tablelands, NSW. Rural landscape (sheep and cattle farm), but large areas of natural bushland vegetation in the area. Drought conditions still persist. Thistle can grow just about anywhere, but this particular location was bone dry and completely exposed, poor soil, and looked like a bit of a rock fill.
Another good reference - https://web.archive.org/web/201109271715...