Biennial, 3-15 dm, very strongly spiny, the stem tough; lvs deeply lobed or pinnatifid, to 25 נ8 cm, loosely villous beneath, chiefly along the main veins, with long multicellular hairs, or glabrous, the upper surface glabrous or similarly hairy; heads clustered or solitary at the ends of the branches, erect, small, the invol 1.4-2 cm high, the disk 1.5-2.5 cm wide (pressed); peduncles, if any, winged all the way to the heads; invol bracts narrow, rarely as much as 2 mm wide, erect or loosely spreading, the middle and outer spine-tipped, the inner softer and flatter; 2n=22. Roadsides, pastures, and waste places; native of Europe, now widely but sparingly established in our range. July-Oct.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.