A large, biennial species, with its round, branching stalk growing from three to five feet high. It is very leafy, and is covered with a fine whitish wool. The long, dark green, lance-shaped leaves have a long, tapering point, and their margins are deeply, irregularly and fantastically cut, each projection being tipped with a long, stiff, and exceedingly sharp, needlelike point that terminates its midrib, and which easily pierces the skin upon the slightest provocation. The upper surface is rough and prickly, and the under side is felted with whitish, cobwebby hairs. The leaves clasp the stalk alternately and hug it closely for a distance, then spring away with an upward flare. The lobes are curling, and the texture is tough. The beautiful flowering heads are usually solitary, and are borne on the ends of the branches. Numerous small, sweetly scented, tubular, purple florets are gathered into a large, soft, spreading and rounding head above the green, egg-shaped cup. The latter is covered with many long, sharp, white, spreading prickles. The flowers are succeeded by a fluffy, silky plume. This Thistle is found in fields and along roadsides from July to November, from Newfoundland to Georgia, west to Minnesota, Nebraska and Missouri. Also in Europe and Asia.