This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol5-6", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
The habitat of this plant is waste places and woods. The plant is smaller than A. majus. The central stems are mainly nodding-, and these and the branches have scattered small heads. The radical leaves are coarsely toothed, the leaf- stalks are hollow, slightly angular, nearly round, hardly furrowed. The flowerheads are purple, in racemes, short-stalked, more or less stalkless, cottony, globular, a little narrowed at the mouth in fruit, greenish, slightly webbed, not umbilicate. The phyllaries are not so long as the florets, awl - like, the inner row as long as the rest, gradually awl-like, the subcylindrical part of the floret as long as the lower part. The achenes are brown with black blotches. The plant is 2-3 ft. high, flowering in July and August, and is a herbaceous biennial.
The habitat of this plant is dry waste places, gravelly and sandy places. The habit is erect. The plant is rigid. The stems are furrowed, cottony or smooth, with leafy branches, spreading, stout. The leaves are deeply divided nearly to the base, the lobes curved back, cristate, distant, slender, those of the radical leaves lance-shaped, toothed, of the stem-leaves, linear. The flowerheads are rose-purple, lateral, stalkless, or at the end of leafy branches, solitary. The phyllaries are smooth, palmately spinose, the central spine strong, channelled, yellow, the inner ones with a membranous, blunt appendage, long-spreading-, with a few smaller ones at the base. The achenes are white or mottled brown. There is no pappus. The plant is 6-24 in. high, flowering in July and August, and the plant is a biennial or annual.
In the British Isles this species is a casual in clover fields. The plant is stiffly hairy. The habit is erect. The stem is branched from below, angled, furrowed, leafy. The leaves are runcinate, toothed, or lyrate to runci-nate, deeply divided to the base. The stem-leaves are clasping, arrow-shaped, strap-shaped, entire or cut or toothed below, large. The buds are erect. Tho flowerheads are yellow, bell-shaped, on slender not thickened stalks, covered with stiff bristles at the top. The involucre is narrowed in fruit, the inner not so long as the pappus, linear, hardening. The phyllaries are prickly, rigid, slender, keeled, the outer awl-like, spreading. The phyllaries are covered with rigid, simple, stiff bristles. The achenes are slender, with long beaks. The plant is 1-2 ft. high, flowering in July and August, and is a herbaceous biennial.
The habitat of this plant is dry pastures, and chalky places, waste places, and cultivated ground. The habit is erect. The plant is tall, with a stout, furrowed stem, roughly hairy. The radical leaves are divided nearly to the base, with the lobes bent backwards, and larger towards the extremity. The stem-leaves are stalkless, simple, lance-shaped. The flowers are yellow, the heads large, the outer phyllaries loose, with a white edge, oblong linear, in the inner downy within. The silky pappus is white, and less than the fruit, which is reddish-brown, and has prominent ribs. The plant is 2-3 ft. high, and is in flower in July and August. As the Latin specific name implies, the plant is biennial.