This is the largest-flowered Thistle we have. Compared with the Common Thistle, it grows less tall, is more fragrant, is not so leafy, the more numerous spires are shorter, and its range is more restricted. The leaves are narrowed and do not adhere so closely to the stouter and less branching stalk. The latter is more or less hairy, and grows from one to three feet high from thick, branched, solid roots. The stem leaves are green on both sides. They are long, lance-shaped in outline, and clasp the stalk alternatingly. They are cut into short, triangular, very prickery, margined lobes, that are more or less fluted. The midrib is strong, and the texture is firm. The great, fluffy flower head is more rounding and spreading than the Common Thistle. The purple colouring is softer and lighter in tone, and the large green cup is thickly covered with short prickers. Several small leaflets are set close to the base of the cup. One, two, or three flowers are set on the end of the stalk and branches, and as the seed ripens, the head becomes a lovely ball of silky fluff. This Thistle is found in dry pastures and fields, from Maine to Pennsylvania, and Delaware, from July to September.