Family, Composite. Color, yellow. Large heads of bright yellow flowers in flat panicles are borne at the end of leafy steins. Leaves, pinnatifid, sharply cut, with the segments turning backward. The name thistle is misleading, for the plant is smooth except the margins of the leaves and bracts of the involucre, which are spiny. July to October.

From a perennial rootstock, in fields and along roadsides. also on gravelly shores, becoming common. From Nova Scotia to New Jersey and westward to the Rocky Mountains.