is the most spiny of our common thistles, and one of the largest.
Its spreading branches often reaching a height of five feet. Stiff
sharp spines grow from the wings on the stem, from the edges of
the leaves and from the bracts of the flower-head. The pale purple
flowers, which continue from July to October, are visited by many
kinds of insects, while in autumn and winter the seeds in the
feathery pappus are attractive to goldfinches.