This section is from the book "Commercial Gardening Vol2", by John Weathers (the Editor). Also available from Amazon: Commercial Gardening, A Practical & Scientific Treatise For Market Gardeners.
A genus of ornamental Thistle-like plants with large leaves more or less deeply divided and coarsely toothed, and with dense erect spikes of flowers. They like deeply dug rich soil, warm positions, and may be increased by seeds, division, and cuttings of the roots in a close frame. The best kinds are: candelabrum, 3 ft., with huge leaves, and purple and white flowers in August and September; longifolius, 4 ft., purple and white; mollis, 3-4 ft., with large and glossy leaves, and purple and white flowers, The variety latifolius (or lusitanicus) is larger in every way, and is perhaps the finest of all; spinosissimus has deeply divided leaves with sharp white spines; and spinosus is a somewhat dwarfer plant also with spiny leaves and purple flowers.